How do recent gasoline prices compare with historical prices?
There are two ways to compare recent gasoline prices with historical prices: the nominal price or the real price. The price actually paid at the pump is the nominal price. The real price is the price that is adjusted to remove the effect of changes in the value of the dollar over time. Real prices usually reflect the value of the dollar relative to a base year.
The graph at the right shows the average annual nominal and real prices of retail regular gasoline from 1976 through 2018. The real price is based on the value of the dollar in March 2017.
The graph also shows the U.S. Energy Information Administration's projection for average annual prices for 2017 and 2018 in the March 2017 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
Use these resources to find historical and most recent gasoline price data and price projections:
- Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update—weekly U.S. and regional gasoline and diesel fuel price data.
- Short-Term Energy Outlook—monthly projections for average monthly and annual U.S. retail gasoline prices for the current year and the next year. The Real Prices Viewer shows nominal and real prices.
- Annual Energy Outlook—projections for average annual U.S. retail gasoline prices out to the year 2050 are available in Table 12.