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Gas Prices Are Highest Ever For Winter

Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year as crude oil prices reach a nine-month high.

At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 by late April.

Crude oil prices jumped to a nine-month high near $105 a barrel after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear program.

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New Jersey Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil.

Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. Economists say it’s a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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