Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Gasoline prices at the pump rose last week. Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular and Premium were up four cents.
According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest gasoline price, averaging $3.95. New York is second at $3.72. At the other end of the price range, four states have average prices under $3.00: Colorado is the cheapest at $2.96; the other three are Wyoming, Oklahoma and Utah.
How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's a visual answer.
The year 2012 was certainly a roller-coaster ride for gasoline. The adjacent thumbnail shows the range for Regular and Premium. From the last week of 2011, we see near twin price peaks. Regular and Premium both peaked in early April, up 21.0% and 19.2% respectively. They hit interim lows in early July, only a few cents above the 2011 year-end prices. They hit their second (slightly lower) high in mid-September and then fell to December 2012 lows two weeks ago, essentially at the anniversary of their December 2011 lows.
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 is listed at 91.74, up 3.00 from last Monday. GASO hit its intraday high at 3.43 on April 3rd. It closed Monday at 2.76, up 0.04 from last Monday.
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).