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WASHINGTON - U.S. retail gasoline prices may reach a record average of $2 a gallon this summer as economic growth boosts demand, Bloomberg News reports.
Gasoline inventories are 4.7 percent below the five-year average. In addition, imports may be limited because of new U.S. regulations that make it more difficult for some overseas refiners to meet fuel specifications.
The average U.S. pump price for self-serve regular gas was $1.724 a gallon as of Monday, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
This year, prices will climb to records "even if unexpected significant refinery or pipeline disruptions are avoided," the Energy Department forecast in a monthly report.
Places such as California, where refining capacity and import routes are limited, have already topped $2 a gallon. In Michigan, the statewide average for self-serve, regular unleaded gas is $1.71 per gallon in March, AAA reported.