Area motorists felt a pinch at the pump while 2013 came to a close. Susquehanna Valley gas prices rose eight cents to $3.52 a gallon this week, according to AAA East Central.

On the national front

Tuesday's national average price at the pump is $3.32 per gallon, which is the highest price on record for New Year's Eve. This is the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking prices heading into the New Year. Today's price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, five cents more than one month ago and three cents more than the same date last year.

Motorists in every state are paying more at the pump than one week ago, and motorists in four states (Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio) have experienced more than 20-cent jumps during the past two weeks. These increases have been keyed by refinery issues in that region.

Higher crude oil prices have also supported rising retail gas prices for motorists. Last Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices climbed back into triple digits for the first time since October. The return above $100 proved to be temporary, as WTI closed at $99.29 per barrel on Monday.

(AAA East Central - a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.7 million members - provides Fuel Gauge each week.)