2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Information – September Gasoline Price Decrease

The national average price for regular gasoline decreased at a more or less continuous rate in September, from $3.647 on September 1st down to $3.433 on September 30. This is a decrease of $0.214 for the month.

In August the price decrease was $0.074, about 1/3 of what it was in September. Despite this decrease in the price of gasoline, the cost of food and most other items increased, so the CPI-W increased 0.3%, despite the gasoline price decrease.

The same trends regarding food and other items probably have continued in September, but they will have a much bigger decrease in the cost of gasoline to overcome, so at this point I suspect that the September CPI-W will not exceed August’s by as much. However, we could be surprised. The cost of all fuels is about 6% of the total CPI-W, so this may tend to mitigate the sharp drop in the price of gasoline.

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7 Responses to 2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Information – September Gasoline Price Decrease

  1. marcus says:

    So it’s looking like we will still be getting at least a 3% COLA increase for 2012?

    • revenuer says:

      Hi Marcus,

      Potluck still says he thinks it will be around 3.5%. There is no way to know for sure right now but he has been analyzing it pretty closely. The COLA for SSA will also apply to SSI for those enrolled in that program.

  2. johnmanousso says:

    Was this manipulated by the government to offset the COLA increase? I suspect by the month of November gasoline prices will be inflated.

    • revenuer says:


      September was the month which ended the time period that this year’s COLA will be based on. So even if gas goes down next month it will not affect this year’s computations. Gas has been tricky. Up and down and in unpredictable ways. I think some of the volatility of the prices reflects the instability of the economy in general. Some of the price changes may have been deliberately manipulated, but it is hard to tell how many. Either way, the data for this year’s COLA is already in. November will not affect it.

  3. American Socialist says:

    Only 3.5% COLA?!? This is George Bush’s fault!

    • revenuer says:

      It is, partly. It began as far back as Reagan and his economic policies which did not differ that much from Bush’s. Papa Bush continued it and Baby Bush added a few new bells and whistles. Obama kept many members of the Bush staff as advisers and continued what the conservatives were doing. Each one has responsibility to bear. So here we sit totally screwed over. I don’t know about you, but I like to console myself by watching Bank of America stock lose value. 😉

    • ssapotluck says:

      Nope. Section 215(i)(1) of the Social Security Act, which was enacted in 1975.

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