Economists: Expect Even Higher Gas Prices This Summer

By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Have you had to fill up your gas tank in the past couple of days? It’s painful!

The going rate is now $3.79 a gallon and economists say it won’t stop there.

Other states including Alaska, California and Hawaii are already seeing prices above $4 a gallon.

Nina Guertin says on an artist’s salary, it’s a drain.

“I don’t like that,” she said. “For me to do a complete gas up that’s a big chunk of my change for the month, if I do two or three gas ups for the months.”

At $75 a tank, Guertin will be spending more than $200 a month to gas up her SUV.

Economists attribute this latest price hike to a number things — the price of oil is up to $108 a barrel, unrest in the Middle East continues and fuel refiners are in the process of switching over to their more expensive summer blends.

Economists say businesses are feeling the pressure from suppliers because of the recent increases.

At Sheffield’s Floral Shop by the University of Minnesota, delivery costs went up in the last month because of rapid spike in gas prices.

“I think how we’re affected the most is customers really wonder why it’s so expensive to get things delivered and that can be pretty discouraging for them if they want a nice arrangement and they think it’s really overpriced to get it delivered,” said florist Courtney Galman.

She said the delivery costs at the floral shop went up 50 cents. That may not sound like much, but there are other businesses doing the same thing and that adds up for consumers.

The last time gas prices were this high was in 2008. Last year at this time motorists were paying $2.77 a gallon.

Professor of Economics and Finance David Vang at the University of St. Thomas thinks gas prices will hit $4 a gallon by summer.

Vang expects to see some fluctuation with prices depending on the situation in the Middle East. He said he doesn’t expect to see prices get much higher than $4 a gallon in the Midwest.

More from Holly Wagner
  • Bummer

    I think gas prices will reach $5.00 + a gallon by labor day. Speculators are the real problem here.

  • Earthman2020
  • frustrated taxpayer

    What is the White House doing…. nothing but thinking of the re-election….

    • Met

      What did the White House do in 2008?

      • GOP hoe down...ho's

        and in 2000 and in 2004 …. seems to me if anything those blaming the current Administration have to be hard pressed if they are blaming the DFL party since the GOP believes in free markets and supply and demand.
        Me – I say let the fricken government take the industry over. Take the profits and pay down the damn deficit.
        No you say??? ok – ration it. Then at least the average gringo can fill a tank on a weekly paycheck. Or maybe only 3/4 …. lol
        also – mandated MPG increases by 30%
        Boom – blow up the rag heads
        Lots of solutions – none will happen as energy owns politicans. Simple as that

    • MARK

      This president has no control over gas prices, just like George Bush had no control over them when the price was above $4/gallon under his administration.

    • Superchik1017

      Don’t get angry with the WH. Get angry at the oil company execs who are claiming last year was the “best year” they’ve had – oh, except for that oil spill labeled the LARGEST oil spill in history. All those execs are rolling in the dough while we stand at the pump paying $75 dollars to fill up. Ridiculous!

  • sunny

    what is going on i get a increase in my wages at work but it does not even cover the increase in the gas price and the health insurance

    • Mike

      I would not want to have a cabin, boat, 4-wheeler or any other gas sucking proposition to entertain myself. Buy a bicycle, it would do you good……….

    • Rob

      Feel lucky if your getting a raise, I am a goverment worker so I will not see any kind of raise for at least two years. Wonder what a gallon of gas will cost in 2013

      • boohoo

        That’s OK Rob….in two years you will be equal with the rest of us!

  • Mark

    Consumer price inflation at 5.7% so far this year… no raises last year. Get ready to hurt. The incredible shrinking paycheck is here to stay. Get used to Mac’n Cheese and hot dogs.

    • M B

      Have you seen the price of hot dogs lately? A pound of hot dogs costs more than a pound of beef (ball parks were 3.80 a pound at wal-mart), so don’t use them as cheap food anymore.
      Pound for pound, chicken is the cheapest right now. If only my city would let me keep a few…
      I see a second wave of recession coming as people stop spending on anything but fuel. We average a 12 gallon fill up per vehicle, so every 10 cents costs another 1.20 to fill up. That’s 12 bucks a fill up or 60 a month or 720 a year more than last year, per vehicle. All that money is NOT going to local shows, or anything else. Since our economy lives and dies on us buying stuff and no one is getting raises, another recession is at hand, courtesy of the greedy oil speculators and execs.

      Klobuchar was right to suggest that oil be controlled on the speculation market. Like the rest of the sell-out congress would actually let that fly.

      I hope I’m wrong, but batten down the hatches folks, it’s going to get gruesome.

  • Sandy

    All while we have rusting oil drills in Alaska and down south. Thanks BO.

    • Mike

      Sandy-Do yourself a favor and study Commodities. That will give you a better idea of why oil prices are inflated. I empathize with your body odor……;

    • MARK

      Yeah, that’s why prices are so high now. LOL. Tell me, why were prices above $4/gallon when Bush was president?

      • right way

        All the tree huggers, EPA to be exact need to get out of the way and let our own oil flow through the pipes.

    • Texas Tea

      BINGO! Think of the JOBS and TAX MONEY that could be raised! Even if we just ran them for 18 months, and then put them on “hold” again.

  • Big Oil

    Even charges God $3.79 a Gallon for gas. No one is safe from the greedy oil man.

  • kim

    This is bad most people will not be able to go anywhere this summer or do anything that envolves driving. People will just cut back in other places then and thing’s will just continue to get worse. With the way things are right now they really should not hike up the prices that much. The rich get richer I geuss. Why is it that every summer it goes up so highthen it drops after like in the fall? Is it Cuz they know kids are out of school and people travel more then?

  • Tea Says

    @Big Oil…..Did you drive to work today? Or use ANY vehicle? If you did you can say NOTHING! It’s SIMPLE…..Supply vs Demand!
    I am more right than left here…..but the bottom line is the less we use…the lower the price!

    • M B

      That’s not the case. US consumption is DOWN over the last two months (3.6 percent in the last week), yet prices are up for us. Does Not Compute under the standard Supply and Demand equation.

      Supply and demand is a worthless concept when Speculators become involved.

  • frustrated too

    gas prices go up in the summer due to the summer fuel blends…..similarly to the choices you have for an oil change, in the winter you may go with a 5W30 when in the summer a 10W30 as an example. it really has little if anything to do with increased summer travel.

    the more frustrating piece for me is that comparatively speaking we utilize such a small percentage of oil from the middle east, that unrest there shouldn’t in my opinion jack pricing up the way it does

  • Yuck!

    @frustrated – I agree but the government probably thinks we’re a bunch of dummies so they can say problems in the middle east so gas has to go up since we can’t get it

  • Earthman2020

    I think it is obvious to everyone we cannot and should not depend on foreign oil.

    “At least one U.S. Representative, Republican Ron Paul of Texas, has made very strong statements advancing similar views…”

    Read more at:

  • Tea says who's fault?

    Wait…..taxes on gas are a certian $ amount…NOT a “%”…the Govt has NO true advantage for HIGHER gas prices…..if anything…it HURTS them in that it does NOT allow for more consumer goods to be moved! Or Consumers moving to buy more goods and services!
    So…..there goes that idea….

  • JB

    I hope gas prices keep everyone home this summer! My trips and vacations will go smoother not having to deal with traffic and the lakes will be quieter with out all the boats and personal watercraft buzzing around! More fish for me to catch and the camp grounds won’t be as crowded!

    Bring on Summer!

  • icosa

    I don’t want to think how high how energy prices are going to become in next 10-20 years… but it seems it exists pretty specilaised companies with serious energy models to make this kind of energy forecasts and predicitons.. It semms really scientific ..

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