Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Gas!

People who have been following the economy know the state of gas (petrol) prices. But, I can provide a visual reinforcement of that fact, clearly showing the bumpy ride that gas prices have followed over the year. The following graph is plotted using data collected by me over the last one year on gas prices in the Southern California region (in Los Angeles County and Orange County). The way i collect the data is by diligently recording the date, the mileage since the last fuel fill, price of gas, gallons filled and location every time i visit a gas station to refill my car . This data helps me keep a check on my car's fuel efficiency and also serves as an early warning diagnostic system for problems. (As an aside, i once noted a consistent drop in my mileage over a period of 2-3 weeks. It turned out to be due to carbon buildup in my EFI system. Quick action probably helped me save some engine life :) ).

The plot clearly shows that gas prices started around $3.0 per gallon beginning of year, climbed all the way upto $4.7 / gallon in mid of 2008 and are falling to less than $3.0 / gallon at the end of year.

Can one predict which direction the curve is headed now ? I cannot.