Gas Prices To 'Get Worse Before They Get Better'

APRIL 9, 2004 - Posted at 8:23 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - Gas prices could get worse before they get better.

The government says gasoline will likely rise another nickel a gallon nationwide before the end of June, but return to current levels before fall.  The Energy Department is also warning of possible regional price spikes.

The Energy Department estimates that the average price at the pump, $1.78 in the latest survey this week, will continue to rise in the coming months, averaging about $1.81 a gallon for the three months ending in June.

Prices over the April and September period were expected to average $1.76 a gallon nationwide, a record high for the summer driving season and twenty cents per gallon more than last year.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)