No, it's not your imagination - gas prices are going up. In fact, gas is 44 cents more than it was a moonth ago, according to recent data from AAA.
Last week, the average price of gas is now $3.75 nationally, according to AAA. The price in metro Atlanta is currently $3.79, according to GasBuddy.com and $3.79.
What's driving the prices up? The increased cost of crude oil, oil refinery shutdowns and speculation say the experts. The cost is not expected to drop until spring.
“This is a very early rise,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. “January has tended to be a quiet month through the years, but the rally really began in earnest around Jan. 15," according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor.
Gas prices typically rise in last February as refineries shut down for maintenance to prepare for the busy summer driving season. Speculation that the global economy is improving is part of the earlier-than-usual price increase.
Prices are expected to inch up until April but are not expected to reach the 2011 high of $3.94 according to Michael Green a spokesman for AAA.
Do you think as consumers we've finally reached our limit on the high price of gas? Or will we just get used to paying the higher prices and continue buying and driving less-than fuel efficient automobiles?
Editor's note: If you're looking for the cheapest prices in town, click on the tab at the top of the Peachtree Corners Patch homepage marked "Commute" for a list of the best places to buy gas. The tab also includes our live traffic map to help you locate any traffic delays nearby.