Only your wallet is broken, not the record

Kai Ryssdal May 24, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Only your wallet is broken, not the record

Kai Ryssdal May 24, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: We all like to think economic reports are just that — solid numbers we can rely on to figure out what’s going on and how we’re going to be affected. Which is largely true, except for something we told you about Monday — that gas prices, adjusted for inflation, are the highest they’ve ever been.

When we said it, it was true. But yesterday, the Energy Department updated its inflation calculations. Instead of using 2006 figures, it’s now using monthly numbers from this year.

They’re more up to date, says Doug MacIntyre. He’s a senior oil analyst with the Energy Information Administration.

DOUG MACINTYRE: The reason we did it now is simply because the price was getting close to what people were accustomed to thinking of: a peak inflation-adjusted price. And it wasn’t an accurate comparison.

So what it all boils down to is this: The $3.22 a gallon national average no longer ties the inflation-adjusted record set back in 1981. We’d need to be paying $3.29 a gallon to tie the mark, which might not happen any time soon.

MacIntyre’s group will be using June’s inflation figures next time, so the record’s kind of an upwardly-moving target.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.