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Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Prices surged over the past week. Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular rose 14 cents and Premium 13 cents. Regular is up 15.2% and Premium 13.2% since their interim lows in mid-December. On top of the expiration of the 2% FICA tax holiday, the steep rise in gasoline prices is especially painful to many households.

According to, two states, Hawaii and California are averaging above $4.00 per gallon. Three states (Illinois, Connecticut and New York) and DC are averaging above $3.90.

How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's a visual answer.

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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 96.20, down 0.74 since from the start of last week, but it's up 21% from its interim low last June.

(click to enlarge)

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.

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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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Source: Weekly Gasoline Update: Ouch! Regular Rise $0.14, Premium Now Above $4