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Gas Price Jump Shocks New Jerseyans, Has Some People Cutting Back

MONTVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) --It was a gas price shocker for drivers in New Jersey on Friday morning. The price jumped 11 cents, and despite that, gas in the Garden State is still the cheapest in the Tri-State Area.

Friday's weekly increase on highways in New Jersey was something even Jersey drivers consider high.  However, at an average price of $3.84, the price at the pump is still a relative bargain when compared to New York and Connecticut.

In Connecticut, gas is $4.16 per gallon on average  and in New York, it's $4.13.

"We live in New Jersey and we are on our way to Connecticut. You do not buy gas in New York or Connecticut," one man told CBS 2's Emily Smith.

"This is the most I've ever paid," said another man who had just paid around $67 to fill up.

Industry analyst John Lonski with Moody's said one reason for the prices is the situation abroad.

"The latest jump in gasoline prices stems from a surge in crude oil prices prompted by renewed worry over political instability in the Middle East," Lonski said.

AAA's Cathleen Lewis said it's the perfect storm for high prices considering we are still using the summer blend geared toward warmer weather, which costs more.

"We anticipate that you'll start to see drops in the next week or so as we get to that cheaper blend," Lewis said.

AAA said gas prices in New Jersey were the highest in May, coming in at $3.89 per gallon. It has yet to hit the $4 mark.

With prices on the rise, people are changing their driving habits and, now, that is showing up in the numbers, analysts said.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Story


Driver Sandy Brangel said $50 put less than 13 gallons in her tank.

"I combine my trips so I don't have to go here and then come back and then go there. I try and combine it," she told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

Tom Kloza at the Oil Price Information Service wouldn't say if this is the peak, but he said that people changing their habits and cutting back has shown up in the demand numbers.

"We've actually seen demand in a couple of the surveys drop considerably from Labor Day weekend and now it looks as though it's gonna be running just a tad under last year," he said.

Summer travel season is over and what Kloza calls "have to" fill-ups are the market's backbone, and $4 regular in New Jersey could be the thing that drives demand even lower.

Have you changed you driving habits as a result of rising gas prices? Share your story in the comments section below.

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