By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gas is expensive these days, one expert says it’s a reality not likely to change and that most American families must learn to cope.

A gallon of regular is now $3.65 in Philadelphia, $3.50 in New Jersey on average up six cents and five cents, respectively, from last week.

Drexel economics professor Marco Airaudo says while personal budgets will take a hit, higher prices at the pump probably won’t cripple the economy.

“The evidence we have from the data is that increasing the price of oil is not going to be the major source of a recession or a possible slow down for the U.S. economy.”

Airaudo blames high prices on ever increasing demand in developing countries like China and India, not problems with supply in the Middle East.

“There are just more countries that need to produce and they rely a lot on gas.”

Some analysts say increased fuel costs are taking $10-12 dollars a week out of our pockets, and that could discourage some people from making minor purchases.

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