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The average annual price of gasoline has fluctuated greatly over the past several decades, but when adjusted for inflation (constant dollars), the price of gasoline in 2019 was only nine cents higher than in 1929. In the graph below, the effect of the U.S. oil embargo can be seen in the early 1980's. From 2002 to 2008, the price of gasoline rose substantially, but then fell sharply in 2009 during the economic recession. In 2012, prices reached the highest level in both current and constant dollars but began a steep decline thereafter.

Average annual gasoline pump price from 1929 to 2019.

Note: Retail price includes Federal and State Taxes. Price is for Regular Leaded Gasoline until 1990 and for Regular Unleaded Gasoline thereafter. Constant dollar values were adjusted by the Gross Domestic Product Implicit Price Deflator.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, October 2020, Table 9.4. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 1.1.9.

Fact #1165 Dataset

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