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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Raised By Hurricane Ike
by Tom Moeller September 16, 2008

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline jumped nearly twenty cents last week to $3.85 per gallon due to the threat to refineries from Hurricane Ike, according to the U.S. Department of Energy survey. For all grades of gasoline the average price rose last week by eighteen cents to $3.89 per gallon.

With the passage of the storm, however, the spot market price for gasoline yesterday reversed much of the increase.

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, the demand for gasoline fell 0.94% during the last four weeks. That was the largest weekly decline since this past January and it lowered gasoline demand by 2.64% year-to-year.

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

Despite the storm, the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell last week to an average $102.85 per barrel. That's down from the high in July of $145.66.

Yesterday, the crude oil price at $95.71 per barrel was down another seven dollars from last week's average.

Prices for natural gas rose slightly w/w to an average $7.70 per mmbtu (+27.5% y/y). Prices rose yesterday to $8.02/mmbtu. The high for natural gas prices was in early-July at $13.19/mmbtu.

Weekly Prices 09/15/08 09/08/08 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon) 3.85 3.65 38.6% 2.80 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 102.85 108.42 30.2% 72.25 66.12 56.60
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