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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Dipped
by Tom Moeller February 24, 2009

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, regular gasoline prices last week dipped five cents from the earlier period. Nevertheless, at an average $1.91 per gallon prices remained near their recent high, up 30 cents from the low. Yesterday, the recent downturn continued. The spot market price for regular gasoline was $1.06 per gallon, down from the high of two weeks ago of $1.32 per gallon.

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

Gasoline demand continued down last week in reaction to the economy's weakness, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. But the year-to-year shortfall eased further to -1.2% from its worst comparison of -4.8% last October (the latest four weeks versus the same four weeks in 2008). Demand for all petroleum products was unchanged y/y after the -8.0% comparison last October. These numbers are available in Haver's OILWKLY database.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude fell back last week to $40.50 per barrel from the average $41.72 during January. Prices reached a high of $145.66 last July. In futures trading yesterday, the one-month price for crude oil was $38.44 per barrel. Last week's average was $36.99.

The price of natural gas fell further last week to $4.32 per mmbtu (-51.3% y/y). The latest average price was down two-thirds from the high reached in early-July of $13.19/mmbtu.

Weekly Prices 02/23/09 02/16/09 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon) 1.91 1.96 -39.0% 3.25 2.80 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 36.99 36.91 -62.8% 100.16 72.25 66.12
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