by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research.
This brief note analyzes the changes in the price of gasoline during the first 13 weeks of 2020 and compares them with the changes during the first 13 weeks of 2019. The raw data (the average retail price of regular gasoline) came from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The results are shown in the table below.
During the first 13 weeks of 2020, the price of gasoline decreased by 22.2% (from $2.578 to $2.005). Furthermore, during this time of the year, gasoline prices typically (but not always) tend to go up because of the usual increase in driving in the spring compared with driving in the winter. As an example, the above table also includes the analogous data for the first 13 weeks of 2019. Indeed, during the same time period in 2019, gasoline prices increased by 20.3%. Thus, in comparison with the trend in 2019, gasoline prices during the first 13 weeks of 2020 decreased by 35% (77.8 is 65% of 120.3).
Michael Sivak is the managing director of Sivak Applied Research and the former director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan.