But Deutsche Bank's Carl Riccadonna believes that concerns about higher gas prices may be premature.
"Gasoline prices are up roughly 16% since mid-December; however, the trend to date is not particularly unusual," write Riccadonna. "Gas prices have a distinct seasonal pattern: Typically, they rise in the first half of the year, plateau during the peak summer driving season and retrace most of the earlier gains in the back half of the year."
And that's exactly what appears to be going on now.
"As last reported, the average retail price for regular grade gasoline was $3.78 per gallon. This compares to an average of $2.78 per gallon in 2010, $3.52 in 2011 and $3.62 in 2012. At face value, the $0.53 per gallon price increase from mid-December is troubling, but this is actually relatively consistent with the regular seasonal pattern."
Indexed to 2012 gas prices, it looks like prices this year are just following the normal seasonal trajectory it always does.