Gas Prices Surge Higher Ahead of Summer Road Trip Season

Here’s a chart based on the weekly gasoline price update from the Department of Energy with an overlay of Light Crude. West Texas Light Crude, at 108.68, and gasoline prices at the pump are up nearly nine cents from last week. This is the highest price for both oil and gasoline since September 2008. Year-to-date, regular has risen 63 cents.

As I write this, GasBuddy shows a Hawaii average of $4.29 for regular, (the nation’s high), with California in $4.05 range, the highest in the continental US.

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The price increases in crude oil and gasoline were reflected in the latest Consumer Price Index data for February and more recently in Personal Consumption Expenditures. For additional perspective on how energy prices are factored into the Consumer Price Index.


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The chart below offers a comparison of the broader aggregate category of energy inflation since 2000, based on categories within Consumer Price Index.

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I routinely post an update on gasoline prices on Monday afternoons when the Energy Information Administration data is published. But today’s close above 110 for West Texas Crude Oil prompted me to post an interim snapshot with today’s WTC close and the latest price for regular gasoline from the GasBuddy website.

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Here is a link to GasBuddy’s average gasoline price for regular by state. As I type this, three states have an average north of $4.00.

Commodity expert Dennis Gartman was interviewed by CNBC on Monday, when WTC closed above 108.

One day we’ll wake up and everyone will say oil is too high but right now the trend is oil keeps making new highs and the market climbs. If we rush up $20 dollars that’s a whole other story, but I think we can accommodate another $3, $4 or even $5 in crude.

Three days later, we’re up a couple of dollars on crude. The price action for oil over the next few weeks will be important.

Doug Short Ph.d is the author of