Gas: 12% surge in 3 weeks

National average climbs overnight to $2.29 a gallon, up 24.2 cents in less than three weeks.

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By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices rose overnight, with the national average up nearly 12% in less than three weeks, according to a daily survey.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 0.9 cent Friday to $2.290 a gallon, reported motorist group AAA. Friday's increase marks the 17th straight day of gains, during which time prices have surged 24.2 cents.

Gas prices have generally been on an upward trajectory since early December, when the national average hovered above $1.60 a gallon. But prices are still well below last year's all-time high of $4.114 a gallon.

The pain at the pump was felt across the country, with drivers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia paying regular unleaded gas prices of $2 a gallon or more.

Prices were highest in Alaska, where a gallon averages $2.646. Arizona had the lowest average, with drivers in the state paying about $2.046 a gallon.

Analysts say the recent increase is due primarily to a rebound in the price of crude oil, which is the main ingredient in gasoline. Additionally, gas prices typically rise at this time of year as refiners and retailers gear up for the summer driving season.

Despite the recent uptick, some 27 million people are planning to travel by car this Memorial Day, according to AAA. That's 2.6% higher than a year earlier, when gas prices were hovering around $3.90 a gallon.

A total of 32.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home to mark the holiday weekend, AAA said. That's an increase of 1.5% from last year, when soaring gas prices cut the number to 31.9 million. To top of page

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