Weekly Gasoline Update: Prices Continue To Rise

Includes: DBO, OIL, UGA, USL, USO
by: Doug Short

Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Prices rose again over the past week. Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular and Premium both rose seven cents. Regular is up 11.0% and Premium 9.5% since their interim lows in mid-December. With the expiration of the 2% FICA tax holiday, many household budgets are being impacted by these increases.

According to GasBuddy.com, two states, Hawaii and California are averaging above $4.00 per gallon. Wyoming has the cheapest gasoline at $3.05.

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 97.03, up 0.88 since last Friday, and it's up 13.4% since the end of October. GASO closed today at 3.04, up 17.4% 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).

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