Alex Brandon, AP
Gas prices are posted at the Sunoco gas station Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 in Philadelphia. The price of gasoline, which is made from crude oil, has soared as oil prices rise. The national average jumped, with state averages above $4 per gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii.

SALT LAKE CITY — Prices at the gas pump are on the rise in Utah.

According to AAA, every metro area in the state saw prices increase over the past month. Salt Lake City had the highest month-to-month price increase with a 69-cent jump.

The current average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.57 — an increase of 48 cents compared to February's AAA report and 16 cents higher than a year ago. Of the Utah cities surveyed by AAA, Salt Lake City had the highest average price at $3.74 per gallon, while Ogden and St. George were tied for the lowest at $3.53 per gallon.

Nationally, the average price of gas rose 30 cents to $3.81 — 25 cents more than the national average at the same time last year.

“Investors’ buying activity continues to be the dominant influence that is pushing prices higher,” said AAA Insurance spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Recent positive economic indicators in the United States and Europe have inspired investors to buy more oil and gas futures, which has helped to push up the price of oil and gas."

Among all 50 states, Hawaii has the highest state average price for regular unleaded gasoline at $4.44 per gallon. In the lower 48 states, the highest average price was reported in California at $4.36. Hawaii, California, Alaska, Illinois, and the District of Columbia all have averages above $4 per gallon. Alaska has the third highest state average price at $4.19.

Hilo, Hawaii, was the metro are with the highest average price in the nation at $4.61 per gallon. 

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