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Economy in Brief

Gasoline Prices Stabilize With The Rise In Crude Oil Costs
by Tom Moeller July 28, 2009

Signs that the worst of the downtrend in the U.S. economy may have passed helped stabilize the earlier weakness in the oil market. The pump price for regular gasoline increased last week to an average $2.50 per gallon, though that still was down nineteen cents from last month's high. The increase added to the eighty cent (55%) rise from the December low. At $1.87 per gallon in the cash market, gasoline prices yesterday continued to rally off the early-July low of $1.60. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY & DAILY databases.

Crude oil prices also recovered last week. Light sweet crude oil prices (WTI) increased to $64.99 per barrel, up $3.72 from the low. Yesterday the spot market price for light sweet crude oil recovered further to $68.38 per barrel. Prices had reached a daily high of $72.68 earlier in July.

Natural gas prices rose slightly for the second week. Last week's average price of $3.49 per mmbtu (-64.8% y/y) was down by three-quarters from the high reached in early-July of last year of $13.19/mmbtu.

Financial Stress: What Is It, How Can It Be Measured, and Why Does It Matter? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City can be found here.

Weekly Prices 07/27/09 07/20/09 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.50 2.46 -36.7% 3.25 2.80 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 64.99 61.27 -48.5% 100.16 72.25 66.12
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