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Economy in Brief

Monitoring the Economic Effects of the Middle East Conflict 
by Louise Curley July 17, 2006

Several of the economic effects of the Middle East Crisis can be monitored using data found in various Haver Databases. Among the information to be found in the daily and weekly databases are stock prices, exchange rates, spot and future oil prices, and gasoline prices in major U.S. cities.

One of the most immediate effects of the crisis has been increases in the prices of oil and gasoline. Spot and future prices of oil are found in the DAILY database and are shown in the first chart. The spot price of Louisiana Sweet rose almost 5% in the week ending July 14 and was over 37% above July 14, 2005. The December 2006 contract price reached $80 a barrel on July 14.

The price of unleaded regular, self service gasoline at the pump for the U. S. and major cities is found in the OILWKLY database (Oil and Gas Weekly Journal.) In the second chart we show the average gasoline price for the U. S. and the gasoline price for San Francisco--one of the cities with above average prices. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in San Francisco was $3.438 on July 6 compared with $2.935 for the US as a whole. The OILWKLY database contains a wealth of information in addition to prices, such as supply and demand conditions, imports and exports and inventories.

Some daily financial and economic data (mainly exchange rates and, in some cases, stock market indexes) are found in the INTDAILY dat base for individual countries in broad geographical regions. In the third chart we show the stock market index for Israel and the exchange rate. In the past week, the stock market declined by more than 8% and the exchange rate fell more than 3%. The MSCID database also gives daily stock market prices for many countries.

July 14  06 July 7 06 Jul 14 05 W/W% Y/Y%
Spot Oil Price LA. Sweet  79.53 75.79 47.91 4.93 37.33
Dec 2006 Contract Price 80.00 76.83 58.86 4.13 35.92
US Pump Price Unleaded, Self Serve Gasoline* 293.5 291.6 222.0 0.65 32.21
San Francisco Pump Price Unleaded, Self Serve* 343.80 341.70 247.70 0.61 38.80
Israel Stock Index Tel Aviv 100( 12/91/=100) 763.31 834.58 686.75 -8.34 11.15
Israel Exchange Rate  New Shequel/US$   4.5393 4.3579 4.5351 -3.34 -0.09
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