The gas pump is putting a squeeze on Georgians’ wallets again, with prices up more than 20 cents over last week and 40 cents over last month.
Analysts say a combination of speculation and lower supplies is likely to blame.
Some refineries are doing maintenance work to prepare for the busy summer season when they’ll run nonstop.
Usually that’s no problem this time of year when demand is low, but a good January in the markets has investors feeling positive and hoping to capitalize on rising prices, says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. Those investors are buying and pushing up prices.
But will it last?
“It’s a hard call to make, will we see a drop in prices,” DeHaan said. “I would think that after such a big rally in prices that we would see some sort of breather, but it will probably be limited.”
Prices have been climbing since the holidays. They’re around $3.76 on average in Georgia.
DeHaan said there’s also another possibility.
“Perhaps what we’re seeing now is what we used to see in April and May. So perhaps this is the rally in prices that we usually see but maybe it’s a bit early, meaning maybe we’ll see some relief by April and May,” he said.
Regardless, DeHaan said he doesn’t expect to set any price records this year, though we could top $4 a gallon.