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Gasoline close to record high before Labor Day
Pump prices hit a national average $3.63 per gallon as Labor Day weekend approaches
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Gasoline is near the highest it's ever been for this time of year, just ahead of the Labor Day weekend.

The run-up in oil prices this year, combined with a rash of refining problems throughout the U.S., has boosted pump prices. The national average on Thursday is $3.629 per gallon. Drivers will pay more for gasoline this Sept. 1 than in any other year except 2008, when pump prices hit an average of $3.686.

Prices are rising despite a drop in U.S. gasoline purchases. Americans may be using less, but drivers in developing nations are using more. That's pushing fuel prices higher around the world.

Benchmark oil rose 4 cents to $88.85 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude lost 15 cents at $114.70 in London.

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