Weekly Gasoline Update: Prices Up Slightly

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Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Gasoline prices at the pump fell slightly, breaking a string of six consecutive weekly increases. Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular and Premium both rose one cent. Regular is up 21 and Premium 24 cents from their interim weekly lows in the December 19, 2011 EIA report.

As I write this, GasBuddy.com shows only one state, Hawaii, with the average price of gasoline above $4. This week no states have prices above $3.90, down from two states last month.

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 is listed at 87.81, down 1.31 from last Monday. GASO hit its intraday high at 3.43 on April 3rd. It closed yesterday at 2.71, down 0.01 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).