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Gas Prices Up for Nearly All; 70% Expect $4-A-Gallon Gas by July

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nearly nine-out-of-10 Americans say they are paying more for gas than they were last summer and expect to pay even more six months from now. Most say $4-a-gallon gas is likely by July 1.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 87% of Adults say they are paying more for gas than they were six months ago. At the end of August, just 40% said the same.  Only one percent (1%) say they are paying less for gas now, while nine percent (9%) say they're spending about the same amount.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of adults who expect gas prices to increase even more has reached its highest level since March of last year.  Eighty-seven percent (87%) say it is at least somewhat likely they will be paying more for gas in six months, including an overwhelming 75% who say it is Very Likely. Just seven percent (7%) do not expect to spend more for gas in six months' time.

Seventy percent (70%) say it's also at least somewhat likely that gas prices will rise above $4-a-gallon by July 1, with 40% who believe it is Very Likely. Twenty-four percent (24%) say it's not very or not at all likely. A year ago, Americans were evenly divided over whether gas would increase to over $4-a-gallon.

By comparison, in June 2008 when gas prices were rising to record levels, 60% of voters said it was at least somewhat likely that the price per gallon would reach $5 that year and 35% thought $6 was even more likely.

But by October 2009, with gas prices falling, a plurality saw the possibility of gas below two dollars a gallon by year’s end. 

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on January 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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