It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular is up 15 cents and Premium 13 cents from a week ago. Regular and Premium are now 15 cents and 14 cents, respectively, off their interim highs in late February.
According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii, Alaska and California are averaging above $4.00 per gallon, up from only Hawaii and Alaska last week. Two states, Connecticut and Illinois, are in the 3.90-4.00 range.
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 Monday at 106.32, up 3.22 from last Monday. To some extent, the price surge in oil has been triggered by unrest in the Middle East.
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).