Oil prices rise ahead of Fed's economic forecast

By The Associated Press | June 22, 2011 | 10:44 AM EDT

Oil prices are rising ahead of an updated economic forecast from the Federal Reserve.

Benchmark oil for August delivery rose 55 cents to $94.72 per barrel Wednesday morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude gained $1.38 at $112.35 on the ICE Futures exchange.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to discuss the Fed's outlook on the economy later Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to keep interest rates unchanged and end a $600 billion Treasury bond purchase program on schedule at the end of the month. It was designed to promote economic growth.

Meanwhile, AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service say the national average for gas is $3.626 a gallon. That's down about a penny from Tuesday and around 22 cents less than a month ago.