NEW YORK (Reuters) - The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose for the first time since early May following an increase in the price of crude oil, according to the latest nationwide Lundberg survey released on Sunday.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was slightly more than $3.70 on July 22, an increase of 8.58 cents in the past two weeks, according to the survey of some 2,500 gas stations in the continental United States.
The increase per gallon is nearly the exact same as the rise per gallon of a barrel of crude linked to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate, which jumped to $99.87 per barrel, up from $96.20 two weeks ago.
"It is crude, period, that did this," Trilby Lundberg, the survey's editor, told Reuters.
High unemployment and a general weak economy has been affecting demand for gasoline.
"If it had not been for the recent crude oil price hikes, we would have seen prices fall at the pump because of that weak demand and the economy," Lundberg said.
A year ago, the price per gallon was $2.73, about 96.72 cents less than the current price.
At $$3.28 a gallon, Tucson, Arizona, had the lowest average price for regular gas, while Chicago drivers paid the highest at $4.07, the survey found.
(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas, editing by Maureen Bavdek)