Gas prices rise 31 straight days; economist doesn't see end in sight

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gas prices have gone up for 31 straight days according to AAA and economists say it doesn't look like prices will be decreasing any time soon.

Drive into the Shell station off I-95 on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach and it's nearly four dollars a gallon for gas.

"I need gas right now so I'm just going to put five bucks in and go somewhere else where it's cheaper," Tom J. said.

He is using cash to save money and hits the lever a lot trying to squeeze every drop out of the nozzle because it's so expensive.

Compared to the Chevron station across the street from the Shell station, four dollars a gallon is a steal.

Jessica Laughlin noticed it quickly and told her friend, Powell Pace, who was driving the car that he should turn around and go to the Shell station.

"It doesn't make sense," she said. "I told him not to go there because it's always been like this. The Shell is 30 to 40 cents cheaper."

It's $3.99 at the Shell station and $4.29 for regular unleaded at the Chevron station.

According to GasBuddy.com, that is more than a 50 cent difference from the cheapest gas station in the area, which is Cumberland Farms off Military Trail near Community Drive in West Palm Beach.

The $3.74 price at the Cumberland Farms gas station is less than the Florida average of $3.78, but more expensive than the $3.71 national average of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

Overall, prices have gone up nearly 13 percent over the past month and 14 cents in the past week in Florida, according to AAA.

"I think we are going to see a few months, if not six months of higher gas prices," George Stamas of Northwood University said.

He said it is mainly because of the price of crude oil, which has jumped 10 percent in price over the past two months. 

"It doesn't look like crude oil price will go down due to the demand overseas and the seasonal demands here in the United States during March and April," he said.

With that said, drivers like Tom will keep squeezing what they can out of each dollar.

"Have to do what you can to survive," he added.

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