Here’s How Inflation Compares to Gas Prices Every Summer in America
Efforts by the Federal Reserve Bank to tame inflation appear to be working. After climbing to a 41-year high of 9.1% in June of 2022, the rate on the closely watched consumer price index dropped to 3.7% in August. A major component of the CPI is the price of gasoline, and while consumers are not seeing the all-time highest prices at the gas pump, the cost of gasoline continues to be volatile. (These are the states where inflation is stressing people out the most.)
To identify the inflation rate and the price of gas every summer over the last 30 years, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed consumer price index releases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for each August between 1993 and 2023. The average nationwide price for all grades of retail gasoline came from the Energy Information Administration.
Motorists will probably have to dig deeper in their wallets to keep their vehicles on the road as we head into the final months of 2023. Fears of inflation are fading, and developing nations are seeking more oil. The extension of Saudi and Russian oil cuts has boosted the price of the benchmark Brent crude to more than $90 a barrel.
Even though the worst of inflation appears to be behind us, higher gasoline prices are not. Gas prices accounted for more than half of August’s 0.6% increase in the price of goods and services from July, according to Labor Department data released this week. And according to AAA, the price of diesel fuel at the pump soared 48 cents a gallon since July, while gasoline rose 9 cents.
The average gasoline price this past August was the second-highest ever for that month. The highest gasoline price ever in August was in 2022, when it was $$4.09 a gallon, the first time the average price had climbed above $4. The most expensive gasoline prices in August have occurred over the last three years. (Also see, states with the lowest and highest gas taxes.)
Today’s gasoline price is a far cry from the average in August 1998, when it was $1.07 a gallon.
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