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Economy in Brief

Gasoline Prices Continue To Hover Just Over $2.00 Per Gallon
by Tom Moeller April 28, 2009

Regular gasoline prices last week averaged $2.05 per gallon, steady with the level reached in late March and up 41 cents from the December low. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database.

Crude oil prices, however, slipped again due to soft economic news. The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate fell to $47.83 last week, down from the late-March high of $53.09. Prices remained up, however, from the December low of $32.37 per barrel. Prices reached a high of $145.66 last July. The figures on crude oil production and inventories are available in Haver's Weekly Oil Statistics database.

In what has been a steady rate of decline, gasoline demand last week fell 2.5% y/y versus the 4.8% rate of decline seen last October. Less driving has been the result of higher gasoline prices and economic weakness. The change in demand is measured using the latest four weeks versus the same four weeks in 2008. Demand for all petroleum products was down 6.5% y/y led by a 40.1% drop in demand for residual fuel oil. These numbers are available in Haver's OILWKLY database.

The price of natural gas fell even further with the end to of winter heating season. Prices fell to $3.45 per mmbtu (-67.1% y/y) which was near the lowest level since 2002. The latest average price was down more than two-thirds from the high reached in early-July of $13.19/mmbtu.

Fed Confronts Financial Crisis by Expanding Its Role as Lender of Last Resort from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Weekly Prices 04/27/09 04/20/09 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.05 2.06 -43.1% 3.25 2.80 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 47.83 49.80 -59.9% 100.16 72.25 66.12
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