It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, Regular is up 3 cents and Premium four, the eleventh week of increases. Regular is up 49 cents and Premium 46 cents from their interim lows during the second week of November. The average for Premium at 4.01 has breached the four dollar benchmark for the first time since March of last year.
According to GasBuddy.com, California and Hawaii remain the only states with regular above $4.00 per gallon, with Hawaii now at $4.30 and California at 4.21. Montana has the cheapest regular at $3.33, up five cents from last week.
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 closed today at 104.35, up from 103.58 this time last week.
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: