Gas prices have been going up all summer as world traders rediscover crude oil as an investment. So where will this round of increases end?

First the numbers, the Fed says nationally, gas has jumped almost 26 cents-a-gallon in the Midwest in just a week. Prices have risen now for five consecutive weeks from a low of $3.36-a-gallon on July 2nd. This comes from the Energy Information Administration’s weekly survey.

Tom Kloza, of the Oil Price Information Service, says it’s up 13 cents in New Jersey in a week, 25 cents-a-gallon in a month. The good news, says Kloza, is that prices will soon start to settle down, but he says after Labor Day and into the end of the year, it will be a question of, ‘do we move lower from 3.70, or from 3.75 or how high will prices get before that lower plunge?’

And as usual, the wild card will be some cataclysmic world event, such as a storm or political upheaval that could set that lower price schedule on its ear. And, yes, cynics will say prices will go lower as we get closer to the November elections.

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New Jersey Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com