The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues.
- BLS Handbook of Methods
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Congressional Budget Office
- Economic Data - FRED® II, St. Louis Fed
- Office of Management and Budget
- Statistics: Releases and Historical Data, Board of Governors
- U.S. Census Bureau Economic Programs
- White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room
May 08, 2007
Pump It Up
From Reuters, the unhappy news that you already knew:
U.S. average retail gasoline prices rose to an all-time high over the past two weeks, due to a number of refinery outages, according to the latest nationwide Lundberg survey.
The national average price for self-serve regular unleaded gas was $3.0684 a gallon on May 4, an increase of 19.47 cents per gallon in the past two weeks, according to the survey of about 7,000 gas stations.
The prior all-time record was an average price of $3.0256 per gallon, that was reached on August 11, 2006.
One of the first things you learn in macro class is that these sort of figures can be extremely misleading if you don't adjust for inflation, so kudos to the Reuters folks for this:
However, the current price is 6.4 cents short of the inflation-adjusted high that was reached in March of 1981, at that time regular grade self serve gasoline was $1.35 per gallon, but on an inflation-adjusted basis today that would translate into $3.13 per gallon.
That said, feel free to file current gas prices in the "ouch" category.
Crude-oil futures dropped to their lowest level in almost seven weeks and appeared ready to extend their five-session loss of nearly 7%. Traders were betting that U.S. data, due later this week, will reveal ample supplies of crude and little or no decline in product inventories...
John Person, president of NationalFutures.com, attributed the recent price weakness to “massive hedge-fund liquidation.” He points out that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission report shows non-commercial traders are long by a net 65,000 contracts and commercial traders are net short.
At the same time, he said, “last week’s tensions eased regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and as refineries come back on line, we are expecting gasoline supplies to build. Crude-oil inventories have climbed in recent weeks, so there is plenty of [inventory]. … [And] if refineries do get back up to speed, we will potentially see gasoline builds in the next few weeks.”
That last sentence is a big "if", and Mr. Person does advise you to temper the celebration:
Even so, Person said he doesn’t expect a massive decline in prices or any break below $58.
Hey, we can dream can't we?
UPDATE: The Energy Information Administration's update provided no comfort:
Continuing problems for refineries in the United States and abroad, combined with strong global gasoline demand, have raised our projected average summer gasoline price by 14 cents per gallon from our last Outlook. Retail regular grade motor gasoline prices are now projected to average $2.95 per gallon this summer compared with the $2.84 per gallon average of last summer. During the summer season, the average monthly gasoline pump price is projected to peak at $3.01 per gallon in May and again in August, compared with $2.98 per gallon last July.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to blogs that reference Pump It Up :
- Behind the Increase in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation
- An Update on Labor Force Participation
- Another Look at the Wage Growth Tracker's Cyclicality
- GDPNow's Second Quarter Forecast: Is It Too High?
- Are Small Loans Hard to Find? Evidence from the Federal Reserve Banks' Small Business Survey
- Slide into the Economic Driver's Seat with the Labor Market Sliders
- The Fed’s Inflation Goal: What Does the Public Know?
- Going to School on Labor Force Participation
- Bad Debt Is Bad for Your Health
- Working for Yourself, Some of the Time
- July 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- Business Cycles
- Business Inflation Expectations
- Capital and Investment
- Capital Markets
- Data Releases
- Economic conditions
- Economic Growth and Development
- Exchange Rates and the Dollar
- Fed Funds Futures
- Federal Debt and Deficits
- Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy
- Financial System
- Fiscal Policy
- Health Care
- Inflation Expectations
- Interest Rates
- Labor Markets
- Latin America/South America
- Monetary Policy
- Money Markets
- Real Estate
- Saving, Capital, and Investment
- Small Business
- Social Security
- This, That, and the Other
- Trade Deficit
- Wage Growth