Gas prices expected to rise during holiday season

Following a series of issues at refineries that raised the prices of gasoline futures, many analysts expect gasoline prices to rise in time for the holiday season.

Gas prices may climb to as high as $2.90 a gallon towards the middle of December before slowly starting to fall again, the Associated Press reports. National averages for unleaded gasoline rose to about $2.88 recently, an 8 cent increase over one month ago and a 25 cent increase over a year ago, according to the news source.

Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said he does not expect gas prices to reach $3 a gallon this year, but anticipates that such prices may be reached during the summer of 2011.

The holiday season can already be a stressful time for those with financial difficulties. With gas prices possibly rising, it may be an advantageous occasion to trade in a gas-guzzler for one of the many fuel efficient cars currently available on the market. Consumers with cash constraints can finance such a purchase by shopping around for a low-interest car loan.