ORLANDO, Fla. – Even with inflation reaching its highest point in 40 years, it seems the high price of gas — at its highest level in eight years — is frustrating Americans the most.
Orange County resident Willie Thames said he was frustrated with the high prices.
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“The gas prices is pretty much ridiculous,” Thames said.
Patrick De Haan, an analyst with Gas Buddy, joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to break down what’s behind the spike.
De Haan said gas prices typically dip in the first few months of the year, but that’s not happening.
“My concern is that this is the time of the year that we generally see the lowest price of the year because low demand,” De Haan said.
He said the price spike is due to global supply and demand. He said the COVID-19 pandemic caused oil inventory to go down. But as the economy recovered and vaccines became more widely available, demand picked back up.
“Very quick prices started to surge because Americans started to feel more confident with vaccines, they felt like they could get out and demand surged. And not just in this country, but globally as well,” he said.
De Haan said reaching $4 a gallon is a real possibility.
“I think naturally that’s a number we can get to. We’re only 50 cents a gallon away from that today,” De Haan said. “Gas prices on average go up 25 to 75 cents a gallon between late February and Memorial Day weekend, so not even factoring in the geopolitical tensions, we’re on a road that could bring us near four dollars. If Russia invades Ukraine, I think certainly we’ll get there.”
Watch the full interview in the video player above.
Drivers in Central Florida said they have no choice other than to pay the increased price.
Tom Jacobson said he’s visiting from Wisconsin. During the pandemic, Jacobson said he reduced his driving,
“We didn’t drive as much because my wife and I, like to eat out. So we would go to restaurants quite often, but during COVID, of course, most restaurants were (pickup) only, so our grocery bills went up because we bought more groceries to eat at home,” Jacobson said. “I used to pay 13 cents a gallon for gas back in the early 70s.”
Coty Houston lives in Seminole County. She said being a mother requires her to drive her children to school and other activities.
“Everything is so far here in Orlando that you need a car and you need to be able to get around,” Houston said. “Maybe I need to stay home on some weeks and some days instead of spending money on gas.”