The Energy Department on Tuesday said it still expects pump prices to climb past $3 per gallon as more motorists hit the road in the spring and summer driving seasons.
In its monthly short-term energy outlook report, the Energy Information Administration said that for the full year it sees a national average price of $2.84 per gallon, up from $2.35 per gallon in 2009.
Oil prices should average above $80 per barrel this spring, rising to an average of about $82 per barrel by the end of the year and to $85 per barrel by the end of 2011, the report said.
A more optimistic view of global economic growth prompted the EIA to boost its 2010 forecast for oil consumption growth to 1.5 million barrels per day from last month's prediction of 1.2 million barrels per day. EIA predicted that most of the economic growth should come from the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.
EIA's outlook for residential electricity prices stayed about the same from last month, at an annual average of 11.5 cents per kilowatthour for this year, rising to 11.6 cents per kilowatthour in 2011.
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