Tuesday, May 09, 2006

[Gas Prices]

Gas Prices Adjusted for Inflation

Three bucks seems like a lot to pay for a gallon of gas, but is it in historical terms? The short answer: yes.

Since the end of WWII, gas prices, adjusted for inflation, have only twice risen above $2.50--in 1978-1984, and recently. Here's how it shakes out by decade over the past fifty years (graph here):
Year______Adjusted price
Gas prices hit an all-time adjusted high of $3.03 in 1981, and a barrel of oil was $86. I'm never sure how they track these things--scanning the net today, I see average US prices listed at fairly wide variance--$2.89 to $2.99. And a barrel of crude is spendy today at over $70, but off the all-time high.

All the same, while we may not be at all-time highs, we're way above historical norms: three bucks a gallon is a lot.

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