The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in New Jersey is averaging $4.33 on Monday, according to AAA Northeast, a 16-cent jump from a week prior but down four cents from a recent peak of $4.37 on Thursday.

The slight decline over the last several days, AAA said, may be attributable to the price of crude oil falling below $110 per barrel after topping off at $123 shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

And the spike in New Jersey pricing has not been as steep compared to the rest of the United States, over which the national average cost of a gallon of regular has risen 26 cents since March 7 to $4.32, just a penny better than the Garden State, which is currently the 18th-most expensive state to buy gas, AAA said.

Comparatively, New Jersey fares better than some East Coast neighbors, with Pennsylvania sitting at $4.42 per gallon, Connecticut at $4.46, and New York at $4.49, according to AAA. Prices in all three of those states rose more drastically than in New Jersey since one Monday ago.

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In a release from AAA Northeast, senior manager of media relations Robert Sinclair said the Russia-Ukraine war is "making it hard to determine if we are near a peak for pump prices, or if they keep grinding higher."

One effect the conflict has had is to quickly close the gas price gap between New Jersey and the U.S. as a whole. Not only has the national average increased by more in the past week, but also in the past month (up 84 cents from $3.48, versus New Jersey up 74 cents from $3.59) and over the past year (up $1.47 from $2.85, versus New Jersey up $1.41 from $2.92).

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