Pockets are on empty as gas prices continue to rise

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In what seemed like a flash gas prices jumped almost a quarter overnight in some places along the Grand Strand and economists say it's a trend likely to continue.

Thursday gas prices hovered between $3.15 and $3.30, up from about $3 on Wednesday.

According to AAA, gas prices in South Carolina are still below the national average of $3.19, but they're climbing.

What that means for people's pockets is that somewhere along the line they'll need to make cutbacks.

Maybe it means they'll eat out less often, it means that American families may not go on vacation this summer. They may simply be unable to," said Marvin Adcock, economics professor at Horry Georgetown Technical College.

Economists blame the price increase on turmoil in the Middle East, the declining value of the dollar and an increase in demand sparked by the slowly recovering economy.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts gas prices this summer will be up about fifty cents from last summer and local economists say gas could get up to more than $4.

In the short term there's not much anyone can do.

"You need food, you need to go places, so really there ain't much you can do," said driver Brandon Melton.

But there could be some long term solutions.

"I would suspect families will begin to buy more fuel efficient cars, will look for ways to cut trips to the grocery store. We may even begin to carpool more often," said Adcock.

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