An expert says New Jersey gas prices are "wobbling" — but they seem to be "wobbling" higher.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, said crude prices climbed last week by $4 or $5 bucks-a-barrel.

"I would not be surprised to see lower crude oil for a brief period in the fall. And then we will move higher," he said.

How much higher? He's predicting about 10 to 15 cents.

Right now in New Jersey, the average pump price is a $1.90, down a penny-a-gallon from a week ago. But Kloza said these happy days for drivers may soon be gone.

"This may be the last period (for the next 10 months or so) that we really see prices of $1.67 to $1.90," he said.

On the demand front, Kloza said, demand in the U.S is probably as high as it has ever been.

"Certainly, people are traveling more than they have been. The record year was 2007, and we will probably match that or exceed it slightly," he said.

But he also says this about so-called "demand-driven rallies" in gasoline: after Labor Day, and as the days get shorter, driving drops off by about 4 or 5 percent.

Kloza also said the uncertainty of the November election will have an impact on crude and gasoline prices.

"You do not have this wonderful feeling, whether it is Democrat or Republican or Independents, about the prospects for the country in the couple of months before the elections," he said.

Kloza said he thinks crude prices will be much higher a year from now, "but I think that there is a lot of challenges for crude oil and for gasoline, once we get through the month of October, once we get through the peak hurricane season."

All of that's aside from any deal legislators may strike to raise New Jersey's gas tax and replenish its Transportation Trust Fund.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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