Worldwide Demand For Oil Continues To Spur Gas Price Hike

Posted March 17, 2005 4:23 a.m. EST

— The price of a gallon of gas in the Triangle has jumped 15 cents in the past month. Economists said a dramatic increase in worldwide demand for fuel is feeding the big price hikes at home.

Expanding economies in China and India are gobbling up supplies faster than OPEC can produce it, according to economists at North Carolina State University.

"OPEC is actually pumping more than ever before, but when you have demand outstripping supply, the price will go up," economist Mike Walden said.

The impact hits people at the pump in the Triangle and eventually hits everyone's bottom line.

"Higher gasoline prices reflecting higher crude oil prices are, in fact, a tax on the economy, so it will have a negative-slowing effect," economist Ed Erickson said.

Walden said prices will probably top out about $2.50 a gallon. Currently, the average price in the Triangle is $2.02 a gallon.