No, it's not your imagination. If you've been feeling the pinch in your wallet at the gas pump, it's because gas prices here in the Rockford area have made a jump of more than 20 cents in the last week.

The average tank of gas in Rockford on Sunday cost $2.68 per gallon. That's above the national rate of $2.53 per gallon.

Gas analysts say the increase is due to several factors, including oil prices hitting a new 2017 high, a major pipeline leak resulting in disruption, autumn refinery maintenance and a larger demand for gas this late in the season.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the latest gasoline demand measurement is the highest for the end of October since 2006. At $2.53, today’s gas price is six cents more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and 31 cents more than a year ago.

Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson:

October has seen strong demand numbers likely, in part, due to consumers taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather rather than spending time indoors. As consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, we are seeing supply levels tighten and gas prices increase. However, we don’t expect this increase to be long-term.

The nation’s top ten largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+21 cents), Ohio (+20 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), California (+17 cents), Wisconsin (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Missouri (+11 cents), Kentucky (+10 cents), Minnesota (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+7 cents).
The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.22), South Carolina ($2.23), Texas ($2.25), Arkansas ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.26), Virginia ($2.28), Tennessee ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.33) and North Carolina ($2.35)

AAA goes on to point out:

Compared to a year ago, more than a dozen Great Lakes and Central states are paying at least 25 cents more a gallon to fill up their tanks. Topping the year-over-year increases list: Indiana (+60 cents), Illinois (+59 cents), Michigan (+54 cents), Ohio (+52 cents), Wisconsin (+51 cents), Minnesota (+44 cents), Missouri (+43 cents) and Kansas (+40 cents).

On the week and similar to last week, the region continues to see gas prices increase more than any other region in the country. This week, Illinois ($2.78), Indiana ($2.72), Michigan ($2.71) and Ohio ($2.64), all land on the top 15 states with the most expensive gas in the country.