MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Fears of war in Europe are playing a part in spiking gas prices.
In the last week, the average Minnesota gas price has gone up 10 cents, the most of any state, according to AAA.
AAA reports the national average for a gallon of gas is $3.53 per gallon. In Minnesota, the average price is $3.40, with Olmsted County being the highest in the state at $3.48.
"I have seen a steady increase the last four years I've been here," said Griffin Trull, who moved to the Midwest from California.
David Vang, a University of St. Thomas finance professor, says supply and demand fluctuations can immediately impact prices at the pump. Right now, he says supplies are tight, mostly due to the pandemic.
Vang says prices also reflect future projections, including the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
"Russia is a major oil producer," he said. "They may be shutting off supplies to Europe if things get really hot, so the market's trying to price that in as well."
Vang says inflation is also a factor in rising gas prices.
Drivers, such as Trull, are now reconsidering their budgets.
"I commute to Minneapolis every day [from Somerset, Wisconsin], so I definitely have to fill up two to three times a week sometimes," he said. "I definitely have to prioritize more and cut back on some other things."
Adam Tarpeh from St. Louis Park pays extra for premium gas.
"Usually what I do to decrease the expenses in my budget, during the winter I don't drive the car a lot," he said.
Vang says that supply can lag behind demand, so even though more people are driving now at this point in the pandemic, supply hasn't necessarily caught back up yet, which keeps prices high.
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