Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Weekly Gasoline Update: More Relief at the Pump

Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data with an overlay of West Texas Crude (WTIC). Gasoline prices at the pump, rounded to the penny, declined yet again over the past week: regular is down six cents and premium is down five. This is the eighth week of declines in advance of the summer vacation season.

That said, regular is still up 38 cents and premium 37 cents from their interim weekly lows in the December 19th EIA report.
As I write this, GasBuddy.com still shows five states (unchanged from the previous three weeks) with the average price of gasoline above $4 but no state with the price above $3.90, down from one last week. Washington has the highest mainland prices, averaging around $4.25 a gallon, bumping California from its usual claim on this dubious distinction.
How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's the answer.

The next chart is an overlay of WTIC, Brent Crude and unleaded gasoline end-of-day spot prices (GASO). GASO hit its intraday high at 3.43 on April 3rd. It closed today at 2.67.
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).

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