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

705Comments
Feb 19, 2013 4:05PM
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I don't know what everyone is complaining about. I just ordered my Unicorn off Ebay from California and will soon be riding it to work over fields of puppies and kittens under a rainbow!..........OK, we're screwed!
Feb 19, 2013 4:04PM
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Oh, man if it all falls apart I am dressing up like Duke Nukem and blasting "Suspect Device" by Stiff little fingers while I navigate our brave new world. 
Feb 19, 2013 4:04PM
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Gov Bobby Jindal was right you freaks on the right are stupid.

 

LOL President Obama four more years!!!!!! Biden in 2016.

 

Go **** yourselves you morons.

 

ROTFLMAO  AT YOU!!!!!

Feb 19, 2013 4:01PM
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A responsible President would be releasing some of our reserves during

this time of so-called maintenance time, but I guess that isn't included in his

balanced approach.

Feb 19, 2013 4:01PM
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Instead of building pipelines and such why don't we build a few refineries. I just don't understand why gasoline goes up quickly and down slowly as well. The only reason I can see for the prices is greed a the refining level and up from there.
Feb 19, 2013 4:01PM
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The devaluation of the US dollar, coupled with ever-growing demand from China and India, will continue to push the price of crude oil and ultimately the pump price higher.
Feb 19, 2013 3:59PM
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Contrary to accepted belief, what goes up rarely comes down. Or what goes up quickly comes down much more slowly.

Feb 19, 2013 3:54PM
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when will they just tell us the truth? headline should read " Rich are stealing your money" because they can
Feb 19, 2013 3:54PM
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Does anyone, besides me, question why gas prices went down very significantly last year prior to the election, and have been going back up every since? How lucky for the adminstration!
Feb 19, 2013 3:52PM
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To all you morons that think the president has anything to do with gas prices rising, Republican or Democrat.........it is just the oil companies ripping off the little man again. Has nothing to do with who is in office!! 

Feb 19, 2013 3:51PM
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Ban all speculation in energy and food futures; the manipulation of the markets will stop and we will be back to supply and demand economics.

Feb 19, 2013 3:51PM
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This is the oil companies raping Americans - there is no reason for this.   Oil is the reason for the recession, if you cannot afford to go to work then you cannot pay your mortgage.  Since it is a necessity it should be governed such as electric and water.   Requesting that an investigation into price gouging with all of my representatives.  And everyone should demand that the investigation is conducted NOW and by a unbiased company - not one that gets donations from oil companies.
Feb 19, 2013 3:51PM
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I do remember when Obama was running for president the first time, he stated that he would like our gas prices to reach the level of Europes.  He stated that would be the only way to make Americans drive less thus using less gas.  Uh, folks.....that would be over 10.00 or more a gallon.  Obama has a big old smile on his face right now.  Of course, the media hid this from the masses. I actually paid attention to what Obama said.  Thus I didn't vote for him....he was scary then and he is scary now.
Feb 19, 2013 3:50PM
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You think you pay too much for you fuel? How about next year's obamacare?

“Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured………But not everyone must prove they are a citizen.”

“And now, any of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.”

-         -  Ben Stein



Feb 19, 2013 3:46PM
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thanks a lot you ****ing democrats....i am done driving for quite some time thanks to the wodnerful democrat ****s. hope you enjoy your ****ing poverty
Feb 19, 2013 3:46PM
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Like I said buy enough votes even a loser can win. I am prepared to

lose a lot as in the last 4 years.The administration does not HAVE A CLUE

Feb 19, 2013 3:45PM
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EVERYTHING IS OBAMAS FAULT NOW THIS IS HIS FIFTH YEAR SAYN UH WHERES MY TELEPROMTER , UH WHAT DO I DO , AM I A DUMASS OR WHAT COMON PEOPLE THIS GUY IS CLUELESS AS IN WHAT TO DO HES ABOUT LIKE SADDAM HUESSAIN AN IDIOT
Feb 19, 2013 3:43PM
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If Obama had one hair on his **** he would be fighting for self independence on oil, right here in N America,, we could have our own oil association (call it the North American Trust Treaty) and tell the Arab countries to kiss off. Canada, Alaska, Mexico, and the United States of N America,,, but I'm afraid he is clean shaven,,,,  
Feb 19, 2013 3:42PM
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analysts are puzzled by the increase?????? was it so puzzling about corruption and greed?
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