As we noted in today’s Chart of the Day, inflation data has been moderating and so too have gas prices as demand has pulled back and refinery output rises as we discussed in last night’s Closer. Roughly two weeks ago, AAA’s national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline peaked just above $5. Granted it is still elevated, but that price has fallen to $4.86 today. Taking one step further up the supply chain, Gasoline futures peaked even further ago on June 9th and have fallen 14.5% since then. As shown in the second chart below, that decline is now putting the past several month’s uptrend on the ropes.
While both the national average and gasoline futures have been rolling over, the decline in the latter has been far larger as those prices tend to slightly lead retail prices. As for the size of that disconnect, taking the spread of the one-month percent change of the two measures of gasoline is historically wide at 14.4 percentage points. The last times such a divergence has been observed were earlier this spring, last fall, and back in 2020. In those periods, such divergences were short-lived. As shown in the bottom chart where we overall the AAA national average and Front Month Gasoline futures, moves in the futures market tend to lead prices at the pump, in other words, it is unlikely retail prices will continue to fly in the face of lower futures prices. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.