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      Gas prices still climbing, motorists cutting back

      Photo Credit: Adam Pinsker

      COLUMBIA (WACH) " Gas prices are still climbing here in the Midlands. This week they've risen to an average $3.57 per gallon.

      That's up 6.5 cents from last week's report by

      That's up nearly 94 cents over where gas prices were last year at this time, and over 14 cents higher than one month ago.

      South Carolina ranks fifth overall in the country for having the lowest gas prices. Currently, no cities in the Palmetto State rank in the top ten. South Carolina usually has at least one city from the Upstate ranked in the list.

      The current national average is up 7.7 cents per gallon, which puts it at $3.74.

      Across the country, drivers are starting to cut back on how many miles they put on their cars each week according to a new report.

      MasterCard SpendingPulse tracks spending at 140,000 gas stations. Officials there say sales have dropped five weeks in a row because of concerned motorists. Before that, demand was increasing for two months.

      A March survey by the Oil Price Information Service shows around 70 percent of gas chains report a drop in sales.

      Analysts say gas will reach the $4 mark this summer, while a smaller group says averages will climb as high as $5.

      Are you content knowing the national average is rising faster than the Midlands price, and South Carolina is ranked near the top for the cheapest gas in the nation? Or are you still concerned that we'll reach record high prices this summer? Leave a comment below and weigh in.

      And don't forget to check out our Pain at the Pump page for the latest gas prices in your neighborhood along with additional statistics.