There have been a lot of news reports lately about rising gasoline prices in the US (now about $3.77 per gallon), although gas prices were actually higher than that last fall ($3.88 per gallon), last spring ($3.94 per gallon) and in May of 2011 ($3.97 per gallon), see blue line in chart below. In fact, retail gasoline prices today are just slightly higher than the average over the last two years of $3.60 per gallon. Further, the chart below shows that retail gas prices have roughly followed the rise and fall of crude oil prices (Brent-Europe, since we import 60% of our oil at that price) over the last five years. Brent oil prices are currently $115 per barrel and retail gas prices are $3.77 per gallon. The last time brent crude oil prices were $115 per barrel in October 2012, retail gas was selling for $3.85; and when brent crude was $116 per barrel in May last year, gas prices were $3.83 per gallon, so current gas prices are in line with crude oil prices.
Update: Last year, there was a 31-cent jump in gas prices over a 4-week period about this time of year, and two years ago there was a 43-cent increase over a comparabale 4-week period. Increases in gas prices at this time of year have been consistent over the last three years.
Moreover, as the table below shows, gasoline prices in the US, even if they go to $4 per gallon or higher, are still a relative bargain compared to the retail prices in all countries in Europe.
|County||$ per gallon|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||$6.15|