A gas pump handle is seen in this file video still.
Updated: Monday, 11 Jan 2010, 9:47 PM EST
Published : Monday, 11 Jan 2010, 9:38 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Oil prices zoomed past $83 a barrel Monday and so did gas prices in Central Indiana.
Statewide, a gallon of regular unleaded was at an average of $2.76 Monday and consumers said they've started to feel the pinch.
"The gas prices are riduculous," said one driver.
"We haven't seen these prices in well over a year, year and a half," said UIndy Finance Professor, Matt Will. "So especially in the winter, this is when gas prices typically drop. To see an increase in January is highly unusual."
According to AAA, oil prices are up 20% over last month. A gallon of regular has climbed more than 8 cents in the past week nationwide. That made it almost $1 a gallon more than it was a year ago.
"It's significant because none of us want to pay a lot of gas prices. And that's a pretty big jump when you look at one year," said Greg Seiter with AAA Hoosier Motor Club.
"This is all a normal process at the end of a recession and into a recovery," said Will. "The good news is we're out of a recession. The bad news is inflation is a concern and you see it at the pump."
Experts said it's common for prices across the board to spike during an economic recovery. But they add it's also possible for those higher prices to push us back into a recession.
"That's always a concern," said Will.
"People might use it as an excuse with the weather being bad, not to go out and pay for the gas or anything like that," said driver Katie Doles.
Already, AAA said drivers are paying about $50 more a month for gasoline than they were a year ago, which can make the economic recovery seem a little less noticeable on your bank account.
"It's understandable why people are feeling a little uneasy right now," said Seiter.
Experts said it's unclear what gas prices will do in the next
couple weeks. They believe topping $3 a gallon is a definite
possibility by spring.