New Jersey motorists are dealing with rising gas prices at the pumps as they plan their final getaways of the summer.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of regular gasoline in New Jersey on Friday was $3.61, 12 cents higher than a week ago. And that's a penny more than the price a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.60 for a gallon of regular unleaded.


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Meanwhile, the national average price rose 10 cents to $3.67. That's higher than the national average from a year ago, which was $3.64.

A number of factors are being blamed for the sharp increases including a series of mishaps at key refineries throughout the country, economic news both domestically and internationally, serious political unrest in Syria, continuing tensions in the Middle East, and concerns of the effects on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that might be caused by Tropical Storm Ernesto.

AAA expects gas prices may continue their rise in coming weeks but should become more manageable by Labor Day.