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Economy in Brief

$100 For a Barrel of Oil?
by Tom Moeller April 8, 2005

In a recent report the International Monetary Fund echoed the notion posed earlier by a Wall Street brokerage that crude oil could touch $100 per barrel in the foreseeable future. Will The Oil Market Continue To Be Tight? is available here.

The IMF oil price forecast for 2030 is a range of $67 to $96 per barrel in nominal terms (with possible spikes) and is driven by economic growth in China, tight supplies and little spare production capacity. Double digit GDP growth in China has been fueled by 13% growth in consumer spending and sharp expansion of the foreign trade surplus.

In the US, the average price for unleaded regular gasoline rose to a record $2.22 per gallon in the week ended April 4. During the past week futures prices for gasoline declined.

The price of oil also fell last week. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped to $54.00 per barrel versus the earlier high of $57.28.

Wholesale natural gas prices held firm at $7.11/mmbtu (+30.0% y/y), up from $6.13 in February.

For the latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the US Department of Energy click here.

Energy Prices 04/04/05 12/31/04 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
US Retail Gasoline, Regular ($/Gal.) $2.22 $1.79 24.6% $1.85 $1.56 $1.35
Domestic Spot Market Price: West Texas Intermediate ($/Barrel) $56.05 $41.78 60.2% $41.78 $32.78 $31.23
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