Economists: gas prices could hit $4 per gallon by spring

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Drivers along the Grand Strand say they are feeling the pain at the pump, as economists say gas prices could reach $4 a gallon by spring.

According to AAA, gas is going for an average of $3.36 a gallon in South Carolina. That price is up from $3.30 just a week ago.

Economists said prices are on the rise because of supply and demand. As spring approaches, more people hit the roads which means more people need gas. Therefore, gas stations can charge more.

Crystal Webb said gas prices affect every part of her life especially when it comes to starting a new business. "Having to travel around to market for a start up business, and it's killing me as far as the gas. It's taking so much money."

Webb is willing to drive an extra mile to save a few cents. "I will drive it on fumes with the light on to get cheaper [gas] because I know where it's cheaper."

Almost everyone is feeling the effects of higher prices. Grand Strand visitor Don Rise said, "We don't go out for supper like we used to, and I cut golfing down to two to three times a week instead of four or five."

Economists say from now until spring, gas prices could be on a straight line up. Research Economist, Dr. Robert Salvino stated, "We're heading into spring and summer. We're going to have a 10 to 15 percent increase in prices of gas affecting the pump."

Another reason for higher prices is more demand for fuel around the country with more manufacturing and development.

Salvino added that what is going on overseas also plays a role in higher prices. "In the Middle East there is uncertainty in the market. The world market for oil and gas and what's going on plays a factor on what we're seeing on gas prices."

Some people say the prices are more expensive toward the beach, so they are traveling to find cheaper prices near the Carolina Forest area and south along the 17 Bypass. Others are finding ways to cut back by eating out less and limiting their activities by setting priorities.

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