Rising gas prices could put brakes on economy

December 30, 2010

For the first time in more than two years, the national average for a regular gallon of gas jumped over the $3.00 mark.

Right now, the national average price for a gallon of regular is $3.07.

The local averages are:

  • Philadelphia - $3.16
  • Delaware - $3.09
  • New Jersey - $2.99
Gas prices nationally are up 13 percent from one year ago, and a whopping 76% higher than two years ago.

This is also coming in December, which is usually a slow month.

"This is sort of unprecedented in the U.S., to see a spike at this time of year when, traditionally, gas prices are at their lowest," said Paul Seredynski of Edmunds.com.

Former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister expects prices to rise steadily to $5.00 per gallon.

"It like we're watching a hurricane coming at us and not doing anything about it. Crude oil prices are the hurricane," he said.

This is happening just as the economy is showing some positive signs: jobless claims fell last week to the lowest level since July, 2008 and the price of existing homes rose in November to the highest level in seven months.

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