Gas prices up, tied directly to healthier economy

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Gas prices are up across the country, and Richmond is no exception.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas is now $2.82. In the Richmond area, we're paying a little less: $2.67 a gallon.

Joyce Hopkins is feeling the pain of those increasing prices at the pump, even when she just drives by a station.

"They go up and up and up and you pass by here one minutes it's one price, two minutes later it's 20 cents different,' says Joyce.

While it may not be that dramatic so quickly, prices across our area have gone up at some stations by that much and more.

Nationally, oil prices are up more than 10 percent since Labor Day and that means people like Joyce are feeling the effects. "It's not fair at all. There's no way in the world gas prices can change that fast," says Joyce.

Here's the reason why. Mike O'Conner who deals with the gas prices everyday says now the price you pay at the pump is tied directly to the health of the economy, not so much supply and demand anymore.

"All summer long, you saw stock prices were down and crude prices went down too. Since Labor Day, that's flipped," says O'Conner.

It's all really just 'speculators' thinking because the economy is recovering, they can drive up the price to see if people will actually pay for it, or vice-versa.

"Speculate them to go lower! Not higher! Everything they speculate on something it's up and up and up," says Hopkins.

So, it seems that if the economy continues to improve, you can expect prices to go up and your wallets may get a little lighter in the coming weeks and months.

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