RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - People can expect to have more pain at the pump. Prices aren't expect to make a drastic dip anytime soon.
A fuel expert says this recent spike may have to do more with the world economy than supply and demand. Drivers say gas prices are just fuel for the fire, especially since they raised 10 cents just in the past week.
" It's frustrating because we're poor and don't have any money so we don't need the high gas prices," said driver, Juanita Steele.
Steele doesn't have a choice if she wants to travel. According to AAA, a regular gallon of unleaded gas in Richmond costs $3.29. That's compared to the state average of $3.31, and a national average of $3.49.
Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association President, Mike O'Connor says the rise in gas prices and crude oil are usually tied into supply and demand; however, he sees that trend transforming.
"It's really tied to the health of the larger economy and has really been pronounced this year," said O'Connor. "We saw prices go up until about May and they increased all summer long which is counter intuitive because usually when you have more consumption, prices are going up."
O'Connor says prices usually spike during the summer. The weak economy kept those low this year. A slight stock market improvement has led to the recent fuel price increase. That's not a good sign for Donald Thorpe who spends at least $120 dollars a week on gas.
"I think it's ridiculous they fluctuate so much and they drop it down to give us a little relief and then they drop it right back up so it never really helps that much," said Thorpe.
Many drivers say they just want to see fuel costs fall a little bit, especially since the holiday season is approaching. It's a sure sign of more spending ahead for many Americans.
To see a complete list of different gas prices in your area visit the "Pump Patrol" tab on our home page.