Weekly Gasoline Update: Prices On The Rise

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Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. After a four weeks of little Gasoline prices at the pump rose last week. Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular and Premium rose four cents. With the expiration of the 2% FICA tax holiday, many households will be especially sensitive to price increases.

According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii, as usual, has the highest gasoline price, averaging $4.08, up two cents from last week. New York is second at $3.72, up three cents from last week. At the other end of the price range, three states have average prices under $3.00, with the cheapest at $2.73. From lowest to highest they are: Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. Two weeks ago there were 10 states in the under $3.00 cohort.

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 96.44, up about 13% since the end of October. GASO closed today at 2.94, up 13.5% since its interim low on November 2nd.

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).

Here are some additional commentaries related to gasoline prices: