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Daily Capital

Have Gas Prices Gone Up? Here’s A Look At How Inflation Is Affecting Cost Of Living

If you’re spending less at the gas pump this year, it’s probably not because gas is cheaper.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% in August after rising 0.5% in July. While this fractional decrease is certainly welcome news after a yearlong climb of 5.3% over the past 12 months — it’s not exactly enough of a sign to prove we’re safe from runaway inflation for good.

The thing about inflation is this: Not all industries have been impacted the same. The price of airline travel and used automobiles, for instance, has declined during the past year. Most Americans are probably seeing noticeable savings from taking fewer vacations and possibly commuting less.

Gas prices, on the other hand, are high compared to one year ago. But thanks to the rise of remote work, not everybody feels the pinch. For remote workers, the pandemic may have offered both an incentive and an opportunity to cut costs. For workers who still have to commute everyday, it probably stings.

In a recent poll, Personal Capital surveyed a national sampling of 772 retirees and near-retirees over the age of 40 and learned that 41% of respondents are saving more for their retirement for fear of rising living costs due to inflation.

Read More: Survey: How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Retirement

A good majority of respondents (64%) said they spent less in 2020 because of lock-downs or quarantines, and 13.1% said working from home helped them save. In addition, 15% downsized their home during the pandemic and 10% moved to a less expensive location. Meanwhile, 12.6% of respondents said they were forced to spend less because their income declined.

With so many lifestyle changes, cost-of-living data might seem a little meaningless. Nobody is spending the same as they were a year ago, so comparing your household budget to what you spent last year doesn’t do much to tell you if things are more expensive now.

To draw a better comparison, we took a look at gas prices using data from AAA. The current national average prices at the time of writing this article are:

  • Regular unleaded:$3.189
  • Mid-grade: $3.543
  • Premium: $3.818
  • Diesel: $3.315
  • E85: $2.697

One year ago, the national average prices were

  • Regular unleaded: $2.187
  • Mid-grade: $2.535
  • Premium: $2.802
  • Diesel: $2.396
  • E85: $2.002

As you can see, the average national gas price is about one dollar more today than it was this time last year.

So how does your state compare to the rest of the nation? Check out the full list below.

Average Gas Prices By State

State Regular Mid-Grade Premium Diesel
Alaska $3.694 $3.872 $4.049 $3.362
Alabama $2.869 $3.204 $3.532 $3.081
Arkansas $2.839 $3.150 $3.434 $3.094
Arizona $3.159 $3.425 $3.681 $3.230
California $4.397 $4.585 $4.712 $4.401
Colorado $3.554 $3.889 $4.182 $3.439
Connecticut $3.205 $3.509 $3.731 $3.329
District of Columbia $3.287 $3.753 $3.919 $3.304
Delaware $3.080 $3.475 $3.735 $3.272
Florida $3.062 $3.413 $3.720 $3.182
Georgia $2.988 $3.331 $3.676 $3.194
Hawaii $4.059 $4.256 $4.518 $4.346
Iowa $2.982 $3.142 $3.558 $3.148
Idaho $3.749 $3.942 $4.131 $3.692
Illinois $3.346 $3.705 $4.090 $3.347
Indiana $3.112 $3.453 $3.773 $3.357
Kansas $2.908 $3.152 $3.413 $3.122
Kentucky $2.927 $3.258 $3.566 $3.127
Louisiana $2.895 $3.195 $3.516 $3.010
Massachusetts $3.101 $3.386 $3.612 $3.196
Maryland $3.099 $3.539 $3.799 $3.259
Maine $3.115 $3.419 $3.685 $3.212
Michigan $3.239 $3.555 $3.885 $3.347
Minnesota $3.026 $3.260 $3.591 $3.223
Missouri $2.845 $3.091 $3.374 $3.013
Mississippi $2.812 $3.104 $3.432 $2.958
Montana $3.329 $3.569 $3.864 $3.412
North Carolina $2.955 $3.311 $3.661 $3.159
North Dakota $3.067 $3.292 $3.543 $3.196
Nebraska $3.014 $3.150 $3.518 $3.162
New Hampshire $3.043 $3.360 $3.630 $3.142
New Jersey $3.223 $3.594 $3.770 $3.371
New Mexico $3.114 $3.410 $3.687 $3.243
Nevada $3.908 $4.141 $4.319 $3.885
New York $3.276 $3.575 $3.811 $3.392
Ohio $3.011 $3.349 $3.681 $3.343
Oklahoma $2.859 $3.120 $3.358 $3.017
Oregon $3.737 $3.916 $4.094 $3.676
Pennsylvania $3.336 $3.658 $3.946 $3.636
Rhode Island $3.079 $3.412 $3.658 $3.171
South Carolina $2.895 $3.243 $3.572 $3.080
South Dakota $3.147 $3.296 $3.680 $3.270
Tennessee $2.892 $3.237 $3.579 $3.120
Texas $2.820 $3.140 $3.442 $2.947
Utah $3.744 $3.946 $4.131 $3.656
Virginia $2.986 $3.376 $3.700 $3.137
Vermont $3.129 $3.407 $3.667 $3.219
Washington $3.855 $4.074 $4.243 $3.733
Wisconsin $3.015 $3.357 $3.738 $3.166
West Virginia $3.072 $3.365 $3.669 $3.277
Wyoming $3.524 $3.747 $4.002 $3.651

 

Personal Capital compensates Megan DeMatteo (“Author”) for providing the content contained in this blog post. Compensation not to exceed $500. Author is not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation. The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money. Third party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”) cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Personal Capital of the contents on such third party websites.

Megan DeMatteo is a former CNBC money reporter and Pushcart-nominated poet. She now contributes to various publications with a specialization in personal finance.
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