Motorists continue to see higher prices at the pumps in New Jersey.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of regular gasoline in New Jersey on Friday was $3.61, up 5 cents from last week. That's also much higher than it was a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.26.

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Meanwhile, the national average price rose 9 cents and is now $3.74. That's also much higher than the national average from a year ago, which was $3.43.

The price boost marks the thirteenth straight week that gas prices have risen in New Jersey. Analysts say the rising prices are mostly due to tensions in the Middle East, rising crude oil prices and market speculation, along with signs of an improving U.S. economy.

AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts the rise at the pump could temporarily stop this coming week. Crude oil retreated slightly last week, which could translate to a temporary dip in prices at the pump.  The week ahead could begin with relatively flat gas prices or even a drop in some places, but the trend for spring remains up.

Analysts continue to believe the national average price for gasoline could go as high as $4.25 per gallon by late April.

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