Gasoline Inflation in the United States (1968-2018)

The average price of gasoline jumped 20.3% in the 12 months ended August as compared to the 25.4% increase in July, according to the most recent inflation data published September 13, 2018 by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Gasoline is an important category reported within the BLS’s monthly report on consumer inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI). "Gasoline (all types)" is listed as a subcategory under the overall "Energy" index for commodities.

The above chart shows some of the most important figures reported in the most recent CPI report. Gasoline inflation is a component of the CPI’s "all items" index, as well as the Energy index of course, and so they are part of the data set that is used in calculating inflation rates. Because gas prices tend to be more volatile, they are stripped out when calculating core inflation rates.

This chart shows U.S. gasoline inflation on an annual basis over the last decade:

*For 2018, the most recent inflation monthly data (12-month based) is displayed in the chart.

Table: Gasoline Inflation by Month and Year (1968-2018)

The below table shows the percent increase or decrease in gas prices on an annual basis by month and calendar year. As the BLS-provided figures below are 12-month periods, look to the December column to find the overall change in gas prices by calendar year.

YEAR JAN FEB  MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
1968 1.9 2.7 2.3 0.4 0.4 1.1 1.1 2.3 0.4 2.3 0.7 1.5
1969 1.5 1.5 3.4 5.3 4.5 4.9 3.7 3.3 3.3 3.3 1.9 3.4
1970 1.8 1.8 -1.4 1.1 1.4 -1.1 1.1 -0.7 0.4 1.1 2.2 2.5
1971 2.9 1.4 2.2 -2.8 -2.1 -0.4 -2.1 2.9 2.9 1.8 0.4 -0.4
1972 -0.7 -0.4 0.4 1.1 2.2 0.7 2.5 0.4 1.7 1.4 3.2 2.8
1973 3.5 5.4 5.7 8.7 8.5 12.2 11.3 9.8 6.5 10.7 14.8 19.6
1974 26.7 32.7 41.6 41.5 43.3 40.9 41.1 40.1 40.5 32.0 25.7 20.7
1975 14.3 8.7 1.4 0.9 0.2 2.3 6.1 7.5 8.5 11.1 11.4 11.0
1976 9.9 8.5 6.8 5.1 4.8 4.4 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.9 2.6 2.8
1977 3.0 5.4 7.5 9.3 8.9 6.8 5.7 5.0 4.6 4.4 4.4 4.8
1978 4.8 3.3 2.5 1.6 1.4 2.0 3.4 4.8 5.8 6.2 7.4 8.6
1979 10.0 12.4 16.6 23.5 29.0 36.5 42.0 46.0 49.4 50.5 50.7 52.1
1980 60.1 67.9 68.1 59.7 51.7 42.0 34.5 28.8 23.9 22.1 20.7 18.9
1981 15.0 14.8 13.4 11.9 10.9 10.2 9.6 9.5 10.3 10.6 10.5 9.4
1982 5.4 -2.9 -8.7 -12.5 -11.1 -5.4 -3.1 -3.2 -4.1 -4.7 -5.3 -6.7
1983 -8.4 -10.0 -9.2 0.2 2.9 -1.5 -2.7 -2.2 -1.8 -2.1 -2.5 -1.6
1984 -0.4 2.6 5.8 1.8 -1.1 -2.9 -5.0 -6.1 -5.0 -3.2 -2.4 -2.5
1985 -3.7 -4.6 -2.4 -0.1 1.2 2.6 4.2 4.3 2.7 1.0 1.8 3.0
1986 4.5 -0.2 -14.5 -25.4 -24.2 -22.2 -27.4 -30.5 -28.3 -29.8 -30.8 -30.7
1987 -26.1 -18.1 -6.0 6.5 3.5 2.2 11.1 20.3 17.5 19.7 21.0 18.6
1988 9.4 2.9 1.2 1.0 2.9 0.7 0.2 -0.1 -1.1 -1.8 -2.0 -1.8
1989 -0.1 2.6 5.2 16.3 18.9 18.3 14.9 8.2 6.9 8.8 6.9 6.5
1990 14.1 12.6 9.6 -1.2 -4.4 -1.7 -0.2 13.2 25.9 33.7 36.6 36.8
1991 19.2 10.1 5.7 5.4 8.4 6.3 4.0 -3.7 -10.7 -17.3 -16.6 -16.2
1992 -12.7 -6.6 -1.1 -1.1 -0.8 2.4 4.8 2.5 2.0 3.4 3.1 2.0
1993 4.5 5.5 4.2 3.6 0.2 -3.3 -4.8 -4.8 -5.8 -2.3 -4.3 -5.9
1994 -6.5 -4.9 -4.5 -4.0 -4.0 -1.7 2.4 7.4 8.0 2.5 4.9 6.4
1995 6.8 5.1 4.9 5.3 9.0 8.6 3.3 -3.0 -3.8 -3.6 -6.4 -4.2
1996 -0.2 0.1 4.0 9.0 8.7 4.4 4.9 5.0 6.0 7.3 11.6 12.4
1997 9.9 9.8 4.6 -2.6 -7.1 -5.0 -4.9 1.2 3.3 1.2 -2.8 -6.1
1998 -9.9 -12.9 -14.7 -13.6 -10.5 -10.5 -10.0 -15.2 -18.0 -15.2 -14.3 -15.4
1999 -13.1 -11.1 -5.0 10.2 7.0 4.6 9.3 17.7 22.6 21.2 21.9 30.1
2000 32.4 41.2 52.6 27.4 26.6 40.3 32.9 19.1 22.4 20.9 21.6 13.9
2001 12.4 8.1 -5.8 3.8 14.4 2.2 -7.8 -5.1 -2.7 -12.6 -21.5 -24.9
2002 -22.7 -23.0 -13.1 -9.0 -17.3 -15.4 -3.7 -0.2 -7.3 7.2 19.3 24.8
2003 29.3 43.1 37.6 15.8 8.1 8.4 8.1 14.5 21.0 9.8 5.5 6.8
2004 8.3 2.0 1.6 11.0 30.0 33.4 26.5 16.5 9.6 26.6 30.9 26.1
2005 14.3 14.7 16.8 24.2 10.3 6.9 19.5 31.3 54.8 37.0 16.1 16.1
2006 27.4 20.6 17.0 21.5 33.4 34.0 29.6 19.6 -11.9 -18.3 -4.2 6.4
2007 -2.7 -1.4 7.2 3.2 6.0 5.0 -1.1 -6.4 8.7 23.4 37.1 29.6
2008 34.5 32.7 26.0 20.7 20.8 32.8 37.9 35.6 31.7 12.0 -29.4 -43.1
2009 -40.4 -35.6 -39.3 -39.5 -39.4 -34.6 -37.3 -30.0 -29.7 -17.9 23.6 53.5
2010 51.3 36.8 41.4 38.3 27.0 3.9 7.4 4.4 5.1 9.5 7.3 13.8
2011 13.4 19.2 27.5 33.1 36.9 35.6 33.6 32.4 33.3 23.5 19.7 9.9
2012 9.7 12.6 9.0 3.2 -4.0 -4.3 -5.5 1.8 6.8 9.1 1.9 1.7
2013 -1.5 3.3 -3.1 -8.3 -4.1 2.8 5.2 -2.4 -7.5 -10.1 -5.8 -1.0
2014 0.1 -8.1 -4.7 2.4 2.3 2.0 0.8 -2.8 -3.6 -5.0 -10.5 -21.0
2015 -35.4 -32.8 -29.2 -31.7 -25.0 -23.3 -22.3 -23.3 -29.6 -27.8 -24.1 -19.7
2016 -7.3 -20.7 -20.9 -13.8 -16.9 -15.4 -19.9 -17.8 -6.5 -0.9 1.0 9.1
2017 20.3 30.7 19.9 14.3 5.8 -0.4 3.0 10.4 19.3 10.8 16.5 10.7
2018 8.5 12.6 11.1 13.4 21.8 24.3 25.4 20.3

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Gasoline (all types) in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted. CPI-All Urban Consumers.

Table: Historical Gasoline Prices (1978-2018)

Finally, this table shows average gasoline prices in the United States as surveyed and reported by the BLS:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ave
1978 0.631 0.629 0.629 0.631 0.637 0.645 0.655 0.663 0.669 0.671 0.676 0.685 0.652
1979 0.695 0.707 0.733 0.780 0.823 0.880 0.930 0.967 0.998 1.006 1.019 1.042 0.882
1980 1.110 1.186 1.230 1.242 1.244 1.246 1.247 1.243 1.231 1.223 1.222 1.231 1.221
1981 1.269 1.353 1.388 1.381 1.370 1.362 1.353 1.348 1.358 1.353 1.351 1.348 1.353
1982 1.341 1.318 1.268 1.210 1.224 1.296 1.318 1.310 1.292 1.280 1.268 1.244 1.281
1983 1.214 1.170 1.135 1.198 1.243 1.261 1.272 1.269 1.257 1.239 1.224 1.215 1.225
1984 1.200 1.193 1.194 1.211 1.221 1.214 1.197 1.184 1.189 1.195 1.193 1.179 1.198
1985 1.145 1.128 1.155 1.199 1.223 1.233 1.233 1.222 1.209 1.198 1.201 1.203 1.196
1986 1.190 1.119 0.983 0.895 0.927 0.958 0.895 0.848 0.864 0.837 0.827 0.830 0.931
1987 0.868 0.911 0.918 0.940 0.948 0.966 0.980 1.004 1.000 0.988 0.987 0.975 0.957
1988 0.947 0.928 0.920 0.946 0.970 0.971 0.984 1.004 0.992 0.976 0.972 0.953 0.964
1989 0.944 0.955 0.974 1.098 1.152 1.150 1.132 1.096 1.073 1.071 1.046 1.030 1.060
1990 1.090 1.086 1.076 1.096 1.114 1.140 1.139 1.246 1.347 1.431 1.432 1.410 1.217
1991 1.304 1.198 1.138 1.159 1.209 1.214 1.185 1.196 1.199 1.180 1.193 1.182 1.196
1992 1.135 1.117 1.122 1.143 1.197 1.239 1.237 1.221 1.222 1.219 1.223 1.201 1.190
1993 1.182 1.172 1.163 1.175 1.193 1.194 1.174 1.163 1.151 1.193 1.178 1.136 1.173
1994 1.109 1.114 1.109 1.128 1.143 1.169 1.199 1.243 1.237 1.212 1.222 1.203 1.174
1995 1.190 1.181 1.173 1.197 1.256 1.281 1.252 1.222 1.206 1.185 1.161 1.160 1.205
1996 1.186 1.181 1.219 1.305 1.378 1.354 1.328 1.298 1.293 1.287 1.308 1.318 1.288
1997 1.318 1.312 1.293 1.288 1.284 1.286 1.263 1.310 1.334 1.300 1.271 1.236 1.291
1998 1.186 1.137 1.097 1.106 1.146 1.148 1.134 1.108 1.091 1.099 1.086 1.046 1.115
1999 1.031 1.014 1.048 1.232 1.233 1.204 1.244 1.309 1.334 1.329 1.319 1.353 1.221
2000 1.356 1.422 1.594 1.561 1.552 1.666 1.642 1.559 1.635 1.613 1.608 1.544 1.563
2001 1.525 1.538 1.503 1.617 1.812 1.731 1.565 1.509 1.609 1.442 1.324 1.200 1.531
2002 1.209 1.210 1.324 1.493 1.508 1.489 1.496 1.508 1.507 1.535 1.534 1.477 1.441
2003 1.557 1.686 1.791 1.704 1.587 1.558 1.567 1.671 1.771 1.646 1.578 1.538 1.638
2004 1.635 1.715 1.809 1.875 2.050 2.083 1.982 1.941 1.934 2.072 2.053 1.926 1.923
2005 1.866 1.960 2.107 2.325 2.257 2.218 2.357 2.548 2.969 2.830 2.387 2.230 2.338
2006 2.359 2.354 2.444 2.801 2.993 2.963 3.046 3.033 2.637 2.319 2.287 2.380 2.635
2007 2.321 2.333 2.639 2.909 3.176 3.100 3.013 2.833 2.839 2.843 3.118 3.069 2.849
2008 3.096 3.083 3.307 3.491 3.813 4.115 4.142 3.838 3.749 3.225 2.208 1.742 3.317
2009 1.838 1.979 2.000 2.107 2.314 2.681 2.594 2.677 2.626 2.613 2.709 2.671 2.401
2010 2.779 2.709 2.829 2.906 2.915 2.783 2.783 2.795 2.754 2.843 2.899 3.031 2.836
2011 3.139 3.215 3.594 3.863 3.982 3.753 3.703 3.680 3.664 3.521 3.475 3.329 3.577
2012 3.447 3.622 3.918 3.976 3.839 3.602 3.502 3.759 3.908 3.839 3.542 3.386 3.695
2013 3.407 3.748 3.792 3.647 3.682 3.693 3.687 3.658 3.616 3.434 3.310 3.333 3.584
2014 3.378 3.422 3.590 3.717 3.745 3.750 3.690 3.540 3.463 3.241 2.945 2.618 3.425
2015 2.170 2.308 2.544 2.545 2.832 2.889 2.893 2.745 2.463 2.357 2.249 2.125 2.510
2016 2.034 1.833 2.021 2.196 2.324 2.422 2.287 2.218 2.269 2.304 2.246 2.289 2.204
2017 2.409 2.360 2.386 2.479 2.448 2.400 2.344 2.436 2.688 2.545 2.608 2.521 2.469
2018 2.596 2.632 2.631 2.795 2.963 2.970 2.930 2.919

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Gasoline, all types, per gallon/3.785 liters in U.S. city average, average price, not seasonally adjusted.