This month, the Energy Information Administration predicted gasoline would average $2.92 a gallon for the April-September summer driving season, up from $2.07 a gallon for the same period last year. For the full year, the EIA estimates regular gasoline will average $2.77 a gallon and U.S. households will spend $570 more on fuel than they did a year ago.
For consumers, higher gasoline prices are one element of an inflationary mix they’ve encountered as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Rising prices for commodities and materials have also boosted prices for such items as lumber, diapers, and meat and poultry.
The Federal Reserve is expecting many of these increases to be temporary. In an appearance before a House subcommittee last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell cited “the pass-through of past increases in oil prices to consumer energy prices” as one factor behind the increase in inflation.