gasoline pricesThe national average price of gasoline was $3.25 per gallon last Thursday, within fractions of a penny of the average a week ago, though pump prices continued to fluctuate in different states, falling in some but rising in others, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Prices fell 3-4 cents per gallon in Missouri and Minnesota, for example, but in the past week they jumped 11 cents in Ohio to $3.19, wiping out a 10-cent decline from the previous week.

The national average of $3.25 was 7 cents higher than a month earlier, when prices hit their low point for the year, but 6 cents lower than a year ago.

Missouri continued to have the lowest average price, $2.90, followed by Oklahoma at $2.96. Prices were down by 4 cents in Minnesota, tying it with Kansas at $2.99. Those were the only states with averages below $3.

Hawaii remained the most expensive state for regular unleaded at $3.93, but prices inched up in Connecticut to $3.67 and in New York to $3.66, while they remained flat in Alaska, also at $3.66.

AAA noted that crude oil prices have edged upward recently, though they remain below $100 per barrel, partly because of favorable economic news, including a better-than-expected report on U.S. employment, and indications of greater global demand for oil. In previous reports, AAA said it expects U.S. gas prices to decline during December because refineries are operating at normal production levels and able to more than meet demand.