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Local gas prices leveled off last week, a development predicted by energy analysts who felt the overheated crude oil market was cooling down.

Last week, the average retail price of gasoline in Sacramento rose just 0.6 cents a gallon, according to today's weekly report by, a website.

Essentially, the local average price rounded off to $4.15 a gallon last week and the week before.

Nationally, the average price increased 2.8 cents per gallon to $3.83 last week.

Prices in Sacramento are $1.10 higher than they were a year ago, and they're up 20 cents from last month. The national average has increased 28.1 cents per gallon during the past month and is 97.9 cents higher than it was one year ago.

The good news about the cooling down of crude oil speculation was accompanied by another red flag - national gasoline supplies have decreased, producing a supply shortage in some areas and a corresonding spike in gas prices in the Midwest.

Analysts warned that continued low supplies of gasoline could produce yet more at-the-pump price increases throughout the nation in the weeks ahead.

See more details in Tuesday's edition of The Sacramento Bee.

Posted 6:48 PM

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