Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A gallon of regular unleaded gas sold between $3.55 to $3.57 in the Louisville metro Sunday. According to AAA, gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.

As the price at the pump goes up, so does the frustration. "You almost can't afford it, but it's hard because you have to buy gas to get around," Andrew Skaggs said, a University of Louisville commuter student. "It's definitely hurting me in the pocket."

At an average of $3.60 a gallon, prices are already up more than 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say gas could reach a record $4.25 by late April.

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil. Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. Economists say it's a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so.

The Associated Press contributed to the report. Copyright 2012.