January 9, 2012
Drivers stopping to fill up their gas tanks can expect to start paying more this week. Gas prices have increased more than 15 cents in just seven days.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Charlotte market has jumped to $3.43 from $3.27 a week ago, according to AAA Carolinas .
A month ago, a gallon of regular gas cost $3.29 in the Charlotte metro area.
The average price in North Carolina is $3.41, up from $3.27 a week earlier and $3.28 a month ago.
In South Carolina, the average price for regular gasoline is $3.22 per gallon, up from $3.09 a week ago. The price a month ago was also $3.09.
The national average is $3.37 per gallon, up from $3.28 a week ago and from $3.29 a month ago.
Tom Crosby with AAA said prices generally start trending up after the New Year and that the increase is unavoidable.
“All trends tend to say gas prices are going to increase, at least in the near future. It’s a global issue now,” he said.
He said the dramatic spike in gas prices can be tracked to a few causes: a conflict in the Persian Gulf, unemployment on its way down which means people are buying more gas, and the gas tax implemented on Jan. 1.
The increase comes after a record year for high gas prices with the average at $3.50.
A typical American spent more than $4,000 at the pump last year.
Experts predict this year will surpass 2011.