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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Lowest Since Late-May
by Tom Moeller August 5, 2008

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell eight cents last week versus the prior period. At $3.88 per gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy survey, the price has now fallen by 23 cents, or 5.6%, from the peak just four weeks ago. Last week's price for a gallon of regular gas was the lowest since late-May. For all grades of gasoline the average price fell eight cents to $3.94 per gallon.

Yesterday the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose four cents, from Friday, to $3.06 per gallon. That was versus last week's average of $3.00. It still was down from the high two weeks ago above $3.40.

Weekly gasoline prices can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database, daily prices are in the DAILY database.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, though the demand for gasoline was unchanged last week from the prior period, gasoline demand during the latest four weeks fell 3.2% from a year earlier. That y/y decline nearly equaled the decline in gasoline demand three years ago when Hurricane Katrina struck and it limited gasoline supplies.

The DOE figures are available in Haver's OILWKLY database.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell last week to an average $124.21 per barrel.

Prices for natural gas fell further w/w to an average $9.16 per mmbtu (+45.8% y/y).

Unanchored Expectations? Interpreting the Evidence from Inflation Surveys from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Weekly Prices 08/04/08 07/28/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon) 3.88 3.96 36.7% 2.80 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 124.21 126.14 63.3% 72.25 66.12 56.60
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