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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Good news for drivers in 2013. Gas prices will be lower than they were in 2012. But before you get too excited, know this: experts say we're not likely to see a significant drop at the pump anytime soon.
Why, you ask?
Angela Daley, a spokesperson for AAA Carolinas, said we have the fiscal cliff to thank for that one.
"The fact that we resolved our fiscal cliff issues is great news but that means the economy is likely to improve, demand will go up and gas prices are likely to go up as well," she said.
But not nearly as high as 2012, when we saw the national average hit an all time high at $3.60 a gallon. North Carolina's average was slightly lower at $3.56 and South Carolina ended the year with an average of $3.35.
Another factor that will keep prices lower this year: domestic oil production is up.
Despite the positive outlook, it just doesn't jive with what Charlotte driver Darlene Campbell is seeing at the pump right now where prices have her budget extremely tight.
"Paycheck to paycheck," she said. "I'm at the point where I just drive to work and come home everyday."
Still, Campbell is hoping for the best and said,"my first concern like I said, is the economy. Because if they had not avoided we would definitely go back into a recession and then they can deal with the gas prices later."
Experts say a number of other factors contributed to last year's record high including tensions with Iran last spring, Hurricane Isaac in the fall and several refinery fires last year that disrupted production.