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As Memorial Day approaches, Sacramento gas prices in holding pattern

It’s the time of year when Sacramento, along with the rest of California, historically takes the hardest punch in nationwide gas price increases in the run-up to Memorial Day.

Not so in 2016. The average retail price of gasoline in the Sacramento area has basically remained flat for two weeks, according to Monday’s report by national gas price tracker The current average is $2.69 a gallon.

By comparison, the national average went up more than 6 cents over the past week to $2.28 a gallon.

The national increase was driven in part by a rally in crude oil markets, which closed last week near $50 a barrel, the highest level since November.

So far, however, Sacramento has remained comparatively untouched, with prices up only a nickel over past month. The current local average is nearly 83 cents below the year-ago level. Despite recent AAA reports of increasing car travel in California, in-state prices have held the line with ample supplies of fuel.

Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, warned that with the rise in crude oil prices “we should expect wholesale and retail gasoline prices to rise further.” But noting that California’s current average price of $2.80 a gallon is about dollar less than at this time last year, Laskoski added: “That should please anyone with travel plans this summer.”

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