The Relative Price of Gasoline, thru 7/4/2022

Using core CPI, Cleveland Fed nowcasts for June, July, as of 7/7.

Figure 1: Price of gasoline, all formulations (black), and of gasoline, unleaded (blue), in 2020$, using core CPI as deflator. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. July observation uses gasoline prices through 7/4. June, July observations use Cleveland Fed nowcasts for core CPI as of 7/7. Source: EIA via FRED, BLS, Cleveland Fed.

Gasoline prices are high in relative terms, but not at record highs. That was in 2008.

22 thoughts on “The Relative Price of Gasoline, thru 7/4/2022

  1. pgl

    “Gasoline prices are high in relative terms, but not at record highs. That was in 2008.”

    Last time I wrote something like this – one of our usual loud mouth trolls went beserk claiming I do not care about the average person. I guess telling the truth is something foreign with some people.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Actually relative price of gasoline was higher in 1918, probably the all time high.

  2. Steven Kopits

    Again, why would you use a log scale here? What does that add to our understanding?

    1. pgl

      Do you take pride in being a total jerk? Grow up little boy and then go far far away.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I think your tone speaks to Menzie’s values. And the question was addressed to him, not you.

        1. pgl

          My tone? His value? Your tone tells me that you actually think you are way smarter than any of us dumb economists. And your values? Celebrating anti-immigration hate with your buddies on Fox and Friends. You of all people should never comment on anyone else’s tone.

    2. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Steven Kopits: When…a…series…is…plotted…on…a…log…scale,…then…a constant…growth…rate…shows…up…as…a…straight…line.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Yep, Menzie is right, of course.

        More generally, doing these sorts of things in log scale is simply more scientific well beyond economics, speaking as someone who publishes in physics and other scientific non-econ journals..

        Again, Steven, this is middle at the latest high school stuff. Why do you keep making yourself look like somebody no intelligent client would want to hire to present data on anything? Do you want to start insisting 2+2=5 next?

        1. pgl

          Me thinks Stevie does not get it. Nominal prices tend to rise over time but this is a relative price, which may show variability but not necessarily some massive upward trend. So once one inflation adjusts the price (as in relative price) then presenting it in log terms makes little sense.

          Of course, we are talking about basic economists which Stevie is too arrogant to bother to grasp. Besides people who get economics do not get to appear on Fox and Friends.

    1. pgl

      What – another one of your patented worthless blog posts? Could you do the rest of us a favor – STOP POLLUTING THIS BLOG WITH YOUR ASININE COMMENTS.

  3. pgl

    This may be why Trump likes Herschel Walker:

    There are many reasons why Herschel Walker, who is running against Georgia’s Raphael Warnock for Senate, should not be elected to higher office. His suggestion that the jury is still out on evolution, for one. His admitted history of domestic violence, for another. His answer to the question “Do you support any new gun laws in the wake of this Texas shooting,” which was “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff,” for yet another. And truly, those three on their own are really enough. But on Thursday, an additional reason arose not to vote for the GOP nominee, and it’s that he’s “a pathological liar”—according to his own campaign! Yes, in the midst of an incredible article from the Daily Beast concerning Walker’s “secret children,” whose existence he denied even to the people who work for him, comes the assertion from the candidate’s own team that he’s constitutionally incapable of telling the truth. While Walker reportedly lies about all kind of things, it was seemingly the lies about his offspring that broke the proverbial camel’s back for his staff. According to the Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger, Walker—who has frequently criticized “fatherless home[s]”—was approached by his advisers over the winter about rumors he had a kid no one knew about, which the candidate denied. The staffers, per Sollenberger, knew their boss was was going to lie, and came with documents proving paternity; eventually, he admitted the child was his, but insisted no other secret kids existed. Can you guess where this is going? You probably can.

    When the Daily Beast learned about the existence of that 10-year-old child in June and went to the campaign for comment, campaign manager Scott Paradise prepared a statement. But first, he went to Walker with a question: Be honest—are there any other kids? No, Walker said. Paradise then put out a statement insisting that Walker—who at that point had only publicly acknowledged one child, his adult son, Christian—was “proud of his children.” “To suggest that Herschel is ‘hiding’ the child because he hasn’t used him in his political campaign is offensive and absurd,” Paradise said in a statement. The very next day, The Daily Beast reached out again, asking about yet another undisclosed child, a 13-year-old. The campaign approached Walker and asked again. This time, he acknowledged the teen was his. The campaign verified that the 13-year-old was Walker’s son, and that he had yet another child—a daughter from his college days about 40 years ago.

  4. David Fitzsimmons

    NOT indexed to inflation. That doesn’t vitiate your point, but in not being adjusted it’s inaccurate.

    1. pgl

      Me thinks you do not understand what relative price even means. That’s cool as neither does Princeton Steve.

  5. Anonymous

    $59 to fill my subaru forester this morning

    $800+ for heating oil this afternoon

    pretty sure somethings are not getting bought this year…..

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Yeah, Biden needs to cave to Putin and let him have Ukraine so you can buy all those things you wanted to but are now not able to, sob!

  6. benamery21

    Some questions this prompts for me: For what percentage of the time since 1973 has the relative price of gas at the pump been higher than today? What’s the longest period of time that relative price remained at or above the current level? Are some regions of the country (perhaps CA and some parts of PADD5 supplied from CA) seeing relative prices that ARE at record highs? How has the average per household consumption of gasoline varied over the same time frame? What’s the distribution of that consumption, median, 90th percentile, etc? What’s the price of gas relative to median income over time? Minimum wage? By state?

  7. benamery21

    One partial answer: Looking at EIA weekly gas prices for California, the recent peak was $6.364/gal, the 2008 peak was $4.636 so the nominal price is 37% higher. The nominal price change nationally was less than 23%. Using U.S. city average core CPI as deflator gas in CA recently peaked roughly 3 cents higher than in 2008.

Comments are closed.