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No pump bump in Minn. but gas prices increase nationally, reflecting Middle East turmoil

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Gasoline prices in Minnesota are not inching up--at least not yet--defying a national price trend.

The Business Journal took a look at prices posted on TwinCitiesGasPrices.com that found that the average price for a gallon of unleaded in the Twin Cities stood at $3.30 on July 8. Motorists paid two cents more one week ago, when prices averaged $3.32 a gallon as the Fourth of July holiday approached.

Earlier this spring, Minnesota motorists paid the highest fuel prices in the nation, but now the local gasoline prices are below the national average of $3.50 per gallon.

The current average price in the Twin Cities is less than the average one month ago ($3.69) and even one year ago. ($3.48)

The lowest price in the Twin Cities is $3.18 at a Forest Lake service station. A number of stations are selling a gallon at $3.19.

"Oil prices have silently been tracking higher after tension in Egypt started to impact the market, driving oil prices higher," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "In turn, gasoline prices have begun to stage a rally as well. Oil closed last week at its highest level in over a year, and it may lead to a gentler rally in retail gas price than what we saw earlier this year, but a rally none the less."

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