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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Tick Lower
by Tom Moeller March 25, 2008

Retail gasoline prices ticked down two cents last week after rising strongly during each of the prior five weeks. The retreat to $3.26 per gallon was so modest that prices so far in March are still up 6.6% from February. They were roughly stable for three months before that.

Yesterday, the wholesale price of unleaded gasoline continued strong. A five cent rise in Monday's price to $2.48 per gallon versus Friday pulled gas prices up nearly a dime versus last week's average.

Crude oil prices also retreated with last week's average price for WTI crude down three dollars w/w to $106.02 per bbl. Yesterday crude prices backed off even further to $101.07 per barrel.

Natural gas prices also topped last week and were down w/w to $9.12 /mmbtu. Nevertheless, natural gas prices were up sharply from February and were up by nearly one third versus last year.

These energy price series are available in Haver's Daily and Weekly databases.

Globalization and the Determinants of Domestic Inflation is a panel discussion held by Janet L. Yellen, President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and it is available here.

Weekly Prices 03/24/08 03/17/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon) 3.26 3.28 24.9% 2.80 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 106.02 109.43 81.0% 94.00 61.11 58.16
Natural Gas Price, Henry Hub ($/mmbtu) 9.12 9.75 42.3% 6.96 6.74 8.68
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