Courtesy of Doug Short.
Here is my weekly gasoline chart update from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Gasoline prices at the pump, rounded to the penny, rose for the eighth week after 13 weeks of decline: the average for Regular rose three cent and premium four cents over the past week. They are both up 55 cents from their interim weekly lows in the December 19th EIA report. Of course, the impact of the Isaac on Gulf of Mexico oil production refinery processes will likely have near-term boost to gasoline prices.
As I write this, GasBuddy.com shows four states, Hawaii, California, Illinois and Connecticut, plus DC, with the average price of gasoline above $4. Another four states are close behind — above $3.90 (Oregon, New York, Washington and Michigan).
How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's the 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 today down 0.46 from a week ago. GASO hit its intraday high at 3.43 on April 3rd. It closed today at 2.95, an eight cent rise from last week. But Isaac will likely send thses prices higher. As the chart illustrates, Brent Crude has become a better gauge than WTIC for the behavior of gasoline prices.
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: