Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Gasoline prices at the pump, rounded to the penny, rose for the tenth week after 13 weeks of decline. The average for Regular and Premium rose a penny over the past week — a fractional increase, but one that keeps the trend in place. They are both up 62 cents from their interim weekly lows in the December 19th EIA report.
As I write this, GasBuddy.com shows seven states (Hawaii, California, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Washington, Michigan and Oregon) plus DC with the average price of gasoline above $4. Another five states are close behind — above $3.90 (Maine, Alaska, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and West Virginia).
How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here’s a visual answer.
The next chart is a weekly chart overlay of West Texas Intermediate Crude, Brent Crude and unleaded gasoline end-of-day spot prices (GASO). WTIC closed today up 1.24 from a week ago. GASO hit its intraday high at 3.43 on April 3rd. It closed today at 3.02, up from 2.96 last week. As the chart illustrates, Brent Crude has become a better gauge than WTIC for the behaviour of gasoline prices.
The volatility in crude oil and gasoline prices has been clearly reflected in recent years in both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE). For additional perspective on how energy prices are factored into the CPI, see What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index.
The chart below offers a comparison of the broader aggregate category of energy inflation since 2000, based on categories within Consumer Price Index (commentary here).
Here are some additional commentaries related to gasoline prices:
- Gasoline Prices and Sales: What They Tell Us About the Economy
- Vehicle Miles Driven as an Economic Indicator
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