(PartiallyPolitics.com) In January gas prices are expected to spike again, despite the fact that demand is unlikely to increase or decrease during that month.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) the national average price of gas increased by 12 cents in the last week, and 41 cents since December, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.49.

This is not going to be a pleasant surprise for American consumers who still remember the $5.02 a gallon nationwide average that gas prices had reached last summer. Denton Cinquegrana, a chief oil analyst at the agency Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), has said that the recent increase in gas prices has been caused by two things. Firstly, the weakening of the dollar has allowed prices to creep up, while China’s reopening has also had an effect on gas prices.

Currently, he added the speculation is that the increase in activities in China, whether that is through driving, or air travel has led to an increase in global demand. The OPEC+ reduction of production levels is still going to go ahead, which will also reduce the oil coming from that source.

Gas prices have also been affected by the extreme weather conditions which led to many refineries not working at full capacity.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, also revealed that gas prices have been slowly increasing for the past five weeks. He added that consumers should widely expect to see the prices continue to go up well into the spring, before the more expensive summer period.

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