PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in Rhode Island continues to rise, up another 3 cents in the past week and 12 cents in the past month, AAA Northeast said Monday.

Rhode Island's per-gallon average of $2.20 remains a nickel lower than the national average and 33 cents lower than the in-state price one year ago.

With crude oil pricing at the highest levels since February, and optimism about the economy as COVID-19 vaccine distribution ramps up, gas prices have been pushed higher.

“December has seen the biggest pump price jump of any month this year, ending with a national average 11 cents higher than it began,” AAA spokesman Lloyd Albert said in a statement. “Despite low demand, pump prices are more expensive because crude oil has seen steady gains.”