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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Are Higher
by Tom Moeller July 27, 2010

The pump price for regular gasoline moved three cents higher last week to $2.75 per gallon. That remained down after an upturn through early-May to $2.90. Pulled higher by firm demand, prices have risen from the late-2009 level of $2.61. Yesterday, the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline held steady with last week at $2.04. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY & DAILY databases.

The average price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil (WTI) again rose modestly last week to $77.71, though the price remained down somewhat from the high of $84.23 averaged during April. Yesterday crude prices moved even higher to $78.98 per barrel.

U.S. natural gas prices rose last week to an average $4.65 per mmbtu (26.4% y/y). Yesterday, prices remained steady with last week but were down from an  early-January high of $6.50.

Demand for gasoline increased 2.0% during the latest week versus one year ago. The demand for residual fuel oil fell by nearly one-quarter versus last year but distillate demand rose 9.0% y/y. That's improved from a 12.3% decline during February. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products have been rising since the winter but slipped during the last twelve months by 0.7%.

The energy price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database while the daily figures are in DAILY. The gasoline demand figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Prices 07/26/10 07/19/10 07/12/10 Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.75 2.72 2.72 9.8% 2.35 3.25 2.80
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 77.71 76.35 74.4 19.6 61.39 100.16 72.25
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 4.65 4.48 4.62 33.1 3.95 8.88 6.97
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