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Economist warns panic buying of gasoline will raise prices in Southwest Florida

Gas Prices
Posted at 4:48 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 13:58:39-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — When drivers think about rising gas prices, it can be easy to feel like it’s out of their control when it comes to the price that they pay at the pump.

Dr. Victor Claar, an Economist at Florida Gulf Coast University said along with gas prices going up, he expects to see any goods shipped into Southwest Florida also go up in price.

One place he said people will see a jump is at the grocery store.

Dr. Claar adds that despite saying the rapid climb in gas prices is fairly recent, people could see prices of goods and services increase immediately due to anticipation.

“Sometimes you will see even anticipation of those higher costs built into current prices. The price that you see often for a good or a service, it isn't driven based on how costly it is to produce today, it's based on how costly suppliers perceive it may be to provide in the future," said Dr. Claar.

While he expects drivers to try and save money wherever they can, he says buying fuel in bulk to avoid higher prices doesn't help people save money.

"You can have a constant supply but if people panic and run out and buy more gas it does drive up the price. So you might be, if you are panicking and you are buying more gas more frequently than you would you may be at least partially at fault for driving up gas prices for Southwest Floridians, including you,” said Dr. Claar.

Dr. Claar said an economic theory suggests that people tend to shop around for things that are a big part of their budget.

He says, while in the past gas has not been a big part of people's spending, he said he now expects more people to get gas at warehouse clubs.

As for a timeline for if or when Dr. Claar said he expects these gas prices to stop climbing, he said the uncertain events that involve Russia and Ukraine keep experts from being able to see when relief from these prices will be.