COPY-Crude steady but gas prices rising

Associated Press - February 10, 2009 1:24 PM ET

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Gasoline prices remain low, but they're rising. And the increase comes even as crude oil prices have held steady.

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded nationally was at $1.92 on Tuesday, up 13 cents since last month. In Missouri, the price was $1.79, up 17 cents from a month ago.

Crude oil prices over the same span have generally been around $40 per barrel. But experts say the culprit in the recent price increase is refinery costs that have risen due to lower demand.

Consumer demand for gasoline dropped throughout last year, especially when prices reached the $4-a-gallon range in July. Prices dropped sharply by the end of the year, but as the economy worsened, demand remained low.

Analyst Brian Youngberg of Edward Jones says gas prices will increase once the economy improves.

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