Energy prices are flat. Gasoline prices have fallen. What country is the Labor Department talking about? Certainly not the U.S. or New York or Alaska or many other parts of the country where gasoline prices are near or have surpassed $4 a gallon.
My colleague Bob Pisani has been explaining to viewers all morning that the Consumer Price Index last month showed a 2 percent decline in gasoline prices because the government looks at "seasonally adjusted" data. So how do should we reconcile this report with what we know we are paying to fill up our Honda Pilot? (That's $60 a pop at my local station in Westchester, NY).
Pisani says the actual increase in gasoline prices was 5.6 percent last month, but the government statistics indicate that gasoline tends to rise by 7.5% in April. Since prices rose less than that 5.6 percent, gasoline prices were reported down 2 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
Make sense? Not really. I know the Labor Department was looking at the month of April, but in the last four weeks alone retail gasoline prices rose about 11 percent nationwide.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline hit another record today of $3.76/gallon, according to AAA. Many stations in this country have regular grade priced at $4 or more--and Alaska has become the first state where the state-wide average for regular gasoline s over $4/gallon.
What's bad for consumers is even worse for truckers or those who want to cruise around in a $50,000 Mercedes E320-CDI, one of the few diesel-powered luxury sedans.
The statewide average for retail diesel now tops $4.50/gallon in 11 states--mostly in the Northeast. Thanks to the run-up in heating oil and wholesale diesel prices, Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS, says the national average for diesel prices could easily eclipse that $4.50 mark in the next few days.
Questions? Comments? email@example.com