The price of oil is higher after the government reported a bigger than expected drop in crude inventories.

Benchmark crude rose 50 cents to $94.17 per barrel Wednesday in New York. Brent crude gained $1.03 to $113.03 per barrel in London.

The Energy Department says oil inventories fell 3.7 million barrels last week to 369.9 million barrels. Analysts surveyed by Platts had predicted a much smaller decline of 300,000 barrels.

Oil prices have risen about 8 percent since Thursday on a combination of factors including positive economic news and hopes for additional measures from the U.S., Europe and China to spark economic growth.

At the pump, the national average price of gasoline rose about 1 penny to $3.647 per gallon. That's up nearly 27 cents from a month ago.

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