Fuel prices stop rising for now

After surging in recent weeks, gasoline prices are beginning to hold steady as we approach the busy summer driving season.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline actually fell by nearly 1 cent to $2.27 in the Houston area, while rising 1 cent nationwide to $2.42, according to weekly data from GasBuddy.

Fuel prices have risen about 17 cents a gallon in two months, which is lower than the 40-cent spike during the same timeframe from a year ago. Gasoline prices typically jump in the spring as refineries prepare for the busier driving season and switch to more expensive summer-grade fuels.

“While the annual spring spike remains subdued, prices do remain 28 cents higher than a year ago, though the gap has narrowed,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

Houston-area fuel prices were less than $2 a gallon a year ago when oil prices remained low, but were well above $3 a gallon prior to 2015.

DeHaan said fuel prices likely will rise a bit more in the coming weeks, but that the biggest jumps have already occurred.