When will gas prices stop rising?

Some analysts are puzzled by the increase, and one says the national average could easily top $4 a gallon this spring.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 19, 2013 11:21AM

Image: Gas prices (Photodisc/SuperStock)The start of 2013 has been tough for consumers. Many saw a chunk missing from their take-home pay when payroll taxes increased. Now they're getting hit at the gas pump, with fuel prices climbing by nearly 14% since Jan. 1 to an average $3.75 a gallon. 


What's behind the jump? Refinery shutdowns are leading "to tighter supply, which also has driven up prices," a spokeswoman for AAA told The Wall Street Journal.


Hess (HES) is shutting down its Port Reading, N.J., refinery, while other refineries have reduced supply because of planned repairs. Refineries often use winter for maintenance, given historically lower demand for gasoline as drivers cut back in poor weather, the Journal notes.


But some analysts are puzzled by the rise, given that gas prices typically see a jump in March and April, when drivers start using their cars more frequently, Business Insider reports.


There's one trend analysts are agreeing on: Prices aren't likely to reverse direction anytime soon. 


"Traditionally, gas prices rise anywhere from 40 to 60 cents a gallon in late March through early May," GasBuddy.com oil analyst Patrick DeHaan told the New York Post. He says if that happens this year, "it will easily send the national average over $4 a gallon."


That's already a reality in some areas. Residents in Southern California are paying the highest prices in the country, with Santa Barbara drivers paying an average of $4.32 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. The cheapest gas is found in Billings, Mt. -- a hub for state's oil boom -- where a gallon sells for an average of $3.17. 


Some consumers are paying even more: A few locations have reported gas prices of more than $5 per gallon. One station in Los Angeles on Monday was selling regular unleaded for $5.19 a gallon.


At that price, a car with a 17-gallon tank would require more than $88 to fill up. With big bucks flowing into gas tanks, it's possible that consumers will look to cut back in other areas -- and that could create a challenge for the stock market and the U.S. economic recovery.


More on moneyNOW

720Comments
Feb 19, 2013 1:40PM
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Don't worry! It's all just temporary. We all have to die sometime ! That's when we'll 'get a break' !

Feb 19, 2013 1:39PM
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The crooked speculators, crooked politicians, crooked media, and crooked oil companies are the only reason the price is higher. Look around the world at the top oil producing nations and their price of gas at the pump. Now look at ours. We are now the top oil producer in the world. It is a complete scam of the American people. Anyone who tries to justify it any other way is a lying crook.
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I believe EVERYONE in the country should not buy gas for 1 week, everyone stay home and watch how quickly prices drop!!
Feb 19, 2013 1:38PM
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Let's see.... payroll taxes increased, (Obama said he wouldn't rais taxes on the middle class), gas is going up (Obama won't allow the Canadian oil pipeline), Sequestration will hit us in 10 days (Obama won't quit spending)...I see a theme emerging.....

Feb 19, 2013 1:36PM
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When you are paying soo very much for gasoline who on thi earth are we expected to spend more and rise the economy!

When all our money goes into filling our tanks there is no more to spend Mr. Obama! YOU are allowing this practice thus our economy will not rise while Oil Corps run this country and they are running it into the ground!

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What a crock!!!! As per Pres at State of Union, Fuel prices better than ever really??? When was the last time he paid for gas or heating oil!!!!! Washington speaking from their bubble again!!! I agree wins5, should be illeagle to speculate!!!

 

Feb 19, 2013 1:34PM
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If the pocket lining government officials had to pay for their own gas, this would not be happening.

Just another tax on the 98%.

Feb 19, 2013 1:33PM
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Well don't these oil corps have to pay to forfeit all of our BLM lands for fracking now don't they.

 

Search and Destroy is the Oil Corps motto. Westmoreland once tried the Search and Destroy too in a war without a true cause.

 

Yet I am curious when this country forfeited our lands morals and values to that of the Oil Corps?

The Ol Corps are destroying this nation while those in Washington sit back and watch the destruction in hopeless Aw!!

Feb 19, 2013 1:30PM
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Gas price stop rising when we start to kick their corrupted A$$.
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Here are some numbers from Pat Buchanan:

 

Negative Trade Deficit:   What we bought from our friends and what they bought from us.  For Calendar Year 2012 -

 

Europe:   up 16% to US $116 Billion

Italy:  US $20 Billion

Ireland: US $25 Billion

Germany: US $60 Billion

So. Korea: up 25% to US $16.6 Billion

Japan: US $76 Billion  Just deflated their Yen so it is cheaper to buy their goods.

Canada: US $32 Billion

Mexico: US $61 Billion

Globally: US $736 Billion or 5% of our GNP

China: Up 6.3 times to US $315 Billion

 

We buy from them and they "buy" all our our natural resources before Americans get to use them.  Our prices go up.   There is no middle class in America, because they are all in these other countries selling us cheap products and they don't  purchase as much from us which makes our factories sit idle.

 

 

Feb 19, 2013 1:22PM
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And so the economy is destroyed yet again...
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and what is our government doing about it ???  how about a big fat ZERO ..
Feb 19, 2013 1:11PM
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And the media keeps you focused on the important issues like lip synching and carnival cruise lines , oscars , emmy's , etc. etc. Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain !!!
Feb 19, 2013 1:10PM
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Going forward unchecked who is going get in the way. Lets change the blend two months early and capatalize on the spring break travelers.  Shut down a refinery...lets jack up the price. Build a new refineries? No that would make too much sense.

Feb 19, 2013 1:10PM
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Prices won't top $4.00, at least for long.  The stupid oil companies keep trying it, but every time they do, they discover that $4.00 is the limit the American people will pay.  When prices hit that level, we'll park our cars and wait for the price to go down. 
Feb 19, 2013 1:07PM
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Do not buy from Exxon/Mobile, Chevron, Shell. They are the greedy idiots who close the refineries for maintenance and screw us all. Don't drive anywhere on your days off!
Feb 19, 2013 1:04PM
Feb 19, 2013 1:01PM
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Shovel ready jobs? Let's build a couple refineries.
Feb 19, 2013 1:01PM
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Of course they are doing repair work while the middle east is in termoil and has already raised their prices.  They can do the repairs now and cause prices to go higher so when they do finish the market will have to fall or maintain the inflated prices that are being set now and they will continue to make even more money.

Feb 19, 2013 1:00PM
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The market is up 70% with Obama.Thank me, I voted for Obama.We don`t need the 6 million

new jobs with Obama.We need more wars, hate, school shootings and terrorist attacks.

Can we change the constitution and get Bush another term?

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