The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire rose six-tenths of a cent Friday to $3.60 after dropping 21 of the past 23 days.

   The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties dropped 9.2 cents over the previous 23 days to its lowest amount since Dec. 3, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

   Despite today's increase, the average price is 1 cent less than one week ago, 6.6 cents lower than one month ago and 20.7 cents below what it was one year ago.

   ``Wholesale prices in Los Angeles hit their lowest point in nearly two years on Jan. 15, but have surged by nearly 30 cents,'' said Jeffrey Spring of  the Automobile Club of Southern California. ``Last year at this time, we were experiencing the start of a 50-plus cent price spike, but so far, local pump prices have been relatively stable.''