The average retail price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose over the past three weeks, continuing recent increases that do not appear to be easing, as crude oil prices rise and other market changes kick in, an industry analyst said on Sunday.

The national average for self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $2.3008 on January 6, up 8.77 cents per gallon since the last nationwide Lundberg survey of gas stations on December 16.

Prices fell nearly 88 cents per gallon between September 9, when they peaked at a record of $3.0117 per gallon, and December 2, survey editor Trilby Lundberg said, though they have risen steadily since.

A year ago, the January 7, 2005, survey had the price of a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded at $1.7936.

"As the refining capacity damaged by hurricanes came back, and prices eased, then gasoline demand, which was hit negatively by the high prices, made a comeback," Lundberg said. "The market has been normalizing, supply and demand have been normalizing over several weeks."

Prices were already expected to rise over the next few months, Lundberg said, driven by required fuel reformulations and various provisions of last year's energy bills taking effect. The renewed rise of crude oil, past $64 on Friday, will only add momentum to the price increases, Lundberg said.

At $2.59 a gallon, Honolulu had the highest average price for self-serve, regular unleaded gas, while the lowest price was $2.03 a gallon in Salt Lake City, Utah.