Rising gas prices ‘not surprising’ to analysts

JONESBORO, Ark. – Gas prices rose once again in the past week but analysts say the increase should come as no surprise.

According to GasBuddy.com’s survey of 1,826 stations in Arkansas, the average price of gas rose 2.5 cents in the last week to $2.23/gallon. That’s 11.6 cents more per gallon than a month ago.

The national average rose 2.6 cents a gallon last week to $2.50.

“It’s not surprising that gasoline prices continue to follow oil prices higher,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, noting that U.S. gasoline demand rose more than two percent last week.

“The rise in gas prices continues to be driven by improving demand in the United States and has nothing to do with who sits in the White House, but rather how many motorists are filling their tanks on a daily basis,” he said. “From that data, it’s no guess, but prices will continue to trend higher.”

Instead of pointing at Washington, D.C., De Haan said the focus should be on OPEC. As long as it continues to restrain oil production he said the situation will not only last it could get worse.

“The situation won’t get better, just wait until spring,” De Haan concluded. “It’s likely the national average will rise another 10 to as much as 50 cents per gallon if oil production doesn’t respond to the continued recovery in demand.”


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