Courtesy of Doug Short.
Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data with an overlay of West Texas Crude (WTIC). Gasoline prices at the pump, both regular and premium, increased 7 cents over the past week, continuing their steady increase since mid-December. Both are up 36 cents from the interim low in the December 19th EIA report. WTIC closed today at 106.25. It is 6.7% off its 2011 interim high, which dates from early May 2011.
As I write this, GasBuddy.com shows three states, Hawaii, Alaska and California, with the average price of gasoline above $4.
The next chart is an overlay of WTIC, Brent Crude and unleaded gasoline (GASO). During much of last year there was a disconnect between WTIC and Brent Crude, but over the last quarter that spread has shrunk considerably.
The price volatility in crude oil and gasoline have 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).