SEATTLE — After 14 weeks of declining prices, gas is once again on the rise in Washington state. Right now, the average gallon of regular gas in Washington is $5.32, with the national average being $3.80, according to AAA.
AAA said gas prices in the Seattle-Bellevue area are averaging $5.50 a gallon, which is an increase of 32 cents over the past week.
"The spike that we've seen over the last week or so is enough for consumers to stop and think," said Dr. Mathew Isaac, a professor at Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics.
Isaac attributes some of the increase to supply problems caused by oil refinery issues in California. He said a high price for an everyday item like gas can discourage consumers from purchasing big-ticket items, but the trend has not slowed the purchase of everyday treats.
"Interestingly, what we're seeing lately is that consumers haven't given up little day-to-day splurges," said Issac.
Splurges like a slice of pizza. Pagliacci Pizza has 25 locations around the Seattle area, and co-owner Matt Galvin said he's grateful that customers have stuck by the store as it increased prices and continues to deal with supply chain problems.
"It does kind of worry you because you think about how is this going to work long term? How much will the customer pay?" said Galvin.
Pagliacci sources 70% of its product from locations across the Northwest. As gas prices increase, it becomes more expensive to transport those items. Galvin said the restaurant also employs its own delivery drivers and adjusts reimbursements for gas every two weeks.
"We like to see consistency in pricing so we can manage our business for the long term," said Galvin.
"Certainly, these kinds of changes, which seem to spark uncertainty, can affect how consumers are feeling and the purchasing behavior that follows," said Isaac.