NEW YORK — Benchmark oil for March delivery climbed above $1.3 or 1.2 percent to close at $97.57 Tuesday for the first time in four months, and analysts said it could go higher if upcoming reports on jobs and U.S. economic growth are positive.

It is now up more than $5 a barrel this year, since oil hadn't closed above $97 in New York since Sept. 14. Report: See other energy futures trading on Nymex.