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Economy in Brief

Gasoline Prices Up A Bit
by Tom Moeller November 21, 2006

Regular unleaded gasoline prices at the pump rose a penny last week to an average $2.24 per gallon. It was the third increase in the last four weeks since the low of $2.21. Average gas prices this month nevertheless remained down three cents from the October average of $2.25 per gallon.

This week, the spot market (NY harbor) price for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen to an average $1.60 from $1.57 last week. Fuel oil prices similarly have shown little decline ahead of the heating season. Yesterday's spot price of $1.62 per gallon compared to $1.65 during October.

Crude oil prices, however, have moved lower. WTI crude yesterday traded for $56.46 (-1.3% y/y) per barrel versus an average $58.88 during October and $63.86 in September.

The heating season also has given some lift to natural gas prices. At $7.35 per mmbtu (-28.5% y/y) yesterday, the Henry Hub price was up from an average of $5.77 in October and $4.90 during September.

The Department of Energy reported that gasoline demand during the latest four weeks rose 2.6% from the year earlier period. That increase, however, continued to understate the demand for gasoline according to estimated figures from the Oil & Gas Journal which showed a 7.1% rise. These figures are available in the Haver OILWKLY database.

The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is available here.

Financial Markets and the Federal Reserve are remarks by Fed Governor Kevin M. Warsh at the New York Stock Exchange and they are available here.

Weekly Energy Prices 11/20/06 11/13/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
US Retail Gasoline Price, Regular $2.24 $2.23 1.7% $2.27 $1.85 $1.56
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