Petrol prices to rise by 9c for Easter

Australian drivers can expect to be hit with higher petrol prices from tomorrow as motorists look to get away for the long Easter weekend.

Queensland motoring body the RACQ said there had been a collapse in the weekly price discounting cycle, with prices reaching their lowest point on Thursday morning before starting to rise again on Thursday evening and reaching peaks on Saturday, the Courier-Mail reported.

"What we have seen in the last three weeks is the cheapest day moved from Wednesday to Thursday, whereas in line with the rest of the past year (Thursday) has not been particularly cheap," said RACQ spokesman Gary Fites.

As the cycle reaches its high this weekend, petrol prices are expected to rise by at least 9c a litre – a hefty toll for drivers planning long journeys.

Meanwhile, the Office of Fair Trading has warned petrol companies to keep prices fair this Easter.

The news follows research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which revealed that retail trade fell unexpectedly by 1.4 per cent in February, suggesting Aussies are lacking confidence when it comes their spending. Instead, it seems more are inclined to compare savings accounts and put money away.

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