Seeing the Gas-Price Rise as Permanent

Gasoline is the rare commodity whose price sometimes declines. That’s surely one reason why rising gas prices are especially painful for Americans. If you have fresh recollection of a price coming down, it seems all the more unjust when it’s going up. As recently as last summer, gas prices were falling, from an average of $3.15 for the month of May to under $2.80 in August.

Will consumers be happier if gas prices go up and stay up? They expect to get a chance to find out, judging by a new Gallup poll. Seventy-eight percent said they think the current rise in gas prices is “permanent,” vs. 19 percent believing it reflects “a temporary fluctuation.” That’s the highest “permanent” vote since Gallup began polling on this topic in 2000.

Fifty-four percent think the price will reach $6 per gallon within the next five years, and 19 percent think it’ll reach $10.