Rising gas prices hindering consumers' buying power, industry expert says

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Gas prices – now at a fresh seven-year high – are continuing "to eat away at consumers' buying power," according to an industry expert. 

With gas prices on the rise, consumers are spending more "filling up than in other areas of the economy," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told FOX Business.  

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Currently, the national average sits at about $3.303 per gallon, according to De Haan, who projected that relief won't be in the near future.  

"I don't believe we'll see much relief by Thanksgiving as the energy issues that have caused the rising prices don't look like they'll be quickly solved," De Haan said, citing the natural gas shortages in Europe and China's struggle with finding coal to burn for electricity.

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De Haan said prices are more likely to rise rather than fall and that drivers are likely to see the national average rise 5 to 10 cents more per gallon. 

Although "no one is immune from these hikes," California is feeling the most pain "with prices now nearing all-time records." 

In fact, San Francisco is currently leading the nation with the average price of gas at $4.60 per gallon. 

However, as yearend approaches, consumers could see prices come down "if some of the bottlenecks we're seeing today improve." 

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