Consumer Price Index: How Much Did Inflation Impact Gas Prices in 2022?

Fuel price high, Gas or Gasoline increased or rising cost concept.
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The November Consumer Price Index brought merry news for American drivers, as the gasoline index declined 2.0% from the previous month after rising 4.0% in October, according to the latest CPI data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gas prices were still up on an annual basis, though that could soon change.

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The November decline in the monthly gas index marked the fourth month in the last five it has moved lower, as prices at the pump continue their steep drop from an all-time high set in June 2022. The index for natural gas also declined, falling 3.5% in November following a 4.6% dip in October.

On a year-over-year basis, the gasoline index rose 10.1%.

The BLS’s November inflation numbers were released on Dec. 13. Overall inflation rose 0.1% for the month on a seasonally adjusted basis after increasing 0.4% in October. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 7.1% before seasonal adjustment.

As recently as June, the BLS’s gasoline index surged more than 11% month-over-month. Since then, however, the index has plummeted along with global oil prices.

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The national average for a gallon of gas fell to $3.245 on Dec. 13, according to AAA. That’s down from $3.380 a week ago, $3.776 a month ago and $3.330 a year ago. Gas prices have sunk by more than one-third since hitting a record high of $5.016 a gallon on June 14.

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, U.S. gas prices hit a major milestone last week when they dipped below the previous year’s average for the first time in nearly two years. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the last time gasoline prices were lower on a year-over-year basis was in January 2021. The average that month was $2.334 a gallon, down from $2.548 in January 2020.

Some experts say prices could plunge below $3 a gallon by Christmas — something that hasn’t happened in 20 months.

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“The seasonal pattern of less driving due to shorter days and crummy weather, combined with a lower oil cost, is driving gas prices lower,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a Monday press release. “If this trend continues, many states could see their average prices fall below $3 a gallon by early next year.” 

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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