Gas prices increasing, could hit $3/gallon by Christmas

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PHOENIX -- Gas prices are once again on the rise, and analysts say we could be paying $3 per gallon for regular unleaded gas by Christmas. Premium unleaded and diesel are already over $3.

Average retail gas prices in Phoenix have jumped 6.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.81 for regular unleaded as of yesterday.

While that is a significant increase, it is below the national average, which went up 8.4 cents to $2.94 per gallon, according to

Yesterday's gas prices are nearly 22 cents per gallon higher than they were on the same day last year, and just over 9 cents per gallon more than they were a month ago.

On the national front, prices are up 9.2 cents over last month and 30.2 cents over last year.

Crude oil prices have gone up about $8 per barrel. That's what is driving the price increase at the gas pumps.

Analysts say there's no indication that prices will drop any time in the near future.