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The Gas Inflation Calculator relies on two major U.S. government providers of gasoline and inflation data to list historical averages for gas prices and to adjust gas prices for inflation. These data providers are the eia, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The eia offers a monthly breakdown of various data categories that include the national average for the price of regular gasoline. The data range is from January 1976 to the current previous month. BLS data includes monthly and annual readings of the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, which is the U.S. government's key reading for inflation. To get this, each month the BLS collects consumer prices from around the nation. The BLS monitors over 200 specific categories of goods and services. In calculating the CPI, it compares the most recent pricing data for a month to the previous month.
In essence, the formula powering the Gas Inflation Calculator starts with a selected month's gas price as published by the eia. It then pulls the BLS provided CPI for that month as well the most current monthly CPI to calculate the increase or decrease in inflation. From that result, the inflation change is applied to the original gas price and the inflation-adjusted gasoline price is the result.