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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Down Again and Still The Lowest Since Late-May
by Tom Moeller August 12, 2008

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline repeated the prior week's decline and fell seven cents last week to $3.81 per gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy survey. The price has now fallen by 30 cents, or 7.4%, from the peak five 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 another seven cents to $3.86 per gallon.

Yesterday the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell another two cents, from Friday, to $2.82 per gallon. That was versus last week's average of $2.92..

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 rose slightly w/w but demand during the latest four weeks fell 2.6% 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 $118.88 per barrel. That's down from the high early last week of 142.46.

Prices for natural gas fell again w/w to an average $8.69 per mmbtu (+36.1% y/y). The high for natural gas prices was five weeks ago at $13.19/mmbtu.

What Is the Optimal Inflation Rate? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is available here.

Divorcing Money from Monetary Policy from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here.

Weekly Prices 08/11/08 08/04/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon) 3.81 3.88 37.5% 2.80 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 118.88 123.84 65.2% 72.25 66.12 56.60
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