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 and premium both fell another four cents. This is the ninth week of declines as we enter the summer vacation season. That said, regular is still up 34 cents and premium 33 cents from their weekly lows in the December 19th EIA report.That's about the half-way mark between the December trough and the April peak. As I write this, GasBuddy.com still shows five states (unchanged from the previous four weeks) with the average price of gasoline above $4. Washington has the highest mainland prices, averaging around $4.13 a gallon with Oregon as the second highest at $4.10. Drivers in Hawaii pay the top price at $4.42 a gallon.
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 2.66, down a penny from last week.
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).