February 4, 2012: Gasoline costs take biggest share of household income in three decades
Trips to the gasoline pump in 2012 and 2008 took their biggest share of U.S. household income in several decades, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The Energy Department’s statistical are reported Monday (today) that the average household spent $2,912 for gasoline in 2012, which makes up almost 4 percent of pre-tax income, tying 2008 for the highest percentage in roughly 30 years.
Pump prices took center stage in White House races in 2008 and 2012, but gasoline expenditures as a share of household income remain lower they did than the early 1980s, when they were above 5 percent.
U.S. drivers are now paying more to fill up their gas tanks than they ever have at this time of year.
The national average price of retail gasoline posted its biggest one-day increase in 23 months on Friday, rising four cents to $3.46 a gallon, according to AAA. The average price has risen 13 cents -- a 4 percent increase -- in the past week.
Gasoline prices have followed in part the climb in the stock and oil prices. Oil and equities have risen sharply over the last few weeks, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 14,000 for the first time since 2007, Brent crude oil futures hit at 4-month high near $117 a barrel, while the U.S. oil price is near $98 a barrel.In unrelated news, the administration has announced that the decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring more oil to the United States will be delayed .... at least another six months. It should be noted that killing the Keystone XL will have no effect on the price of gasoline in this country in the near term, if ever.