It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny Regular dropped another six cents and Premium seven cents. Regular is now at its lowest price since December 2010. Has the consumer been using the accumulating fuel savings to boost retail sales (ex-gas) and durable goods purchases? Stay tuned!
According to GasBuddy.com, only one state (Hawaii) has Regular above $4.00 per gallon. The highest continental average price is in California at $3.39. South Carolina has the cheapest Regular at $2.77.
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 at 81.00, down from 82.72 one week ago.
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: