Filling the gas tank in your vehicle is more painful this week, and not just because you're shivering in the bitter cold while standing at the pump.
You're probably wincing at the price of gas, which is climbing rapidly in this first week of 2010.
AAA Carolinas says the price of a gallon of regular gas has climbed about 7 cents in the past week, to an average of $2.69. The increase is actually about 12 cents since Christmas. A gallon of regular gas costs an average of $2.54 in Rock Hill, where 87-octane fuel sold for 10 cents less in late December.
A gallon of regular was selling Wednesday morning for $2.75 at the Gate station on Sardis Road North in southeast Charlotte - up about 20 cents over the past three weeks.
The increases have brought an end to several months of relative stability in the market. Prices soared about 30 to 40 cents a gallon last spring, then held their ground during much of the latter part of 2009. Now, however, analysts say a variety of circumstances is leading to higher prices.
And, as is often the case, the explanations seem contradictory.
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