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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Are Higher
by  Tom Moeller August 10, 2010

The pump price for regular gasoline moved four cents higher last week to $2.78 per gallon. That remained down from $2.91 in early-May. 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 slipped to $2.04 from $2.09 last week. 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 last week to $81.81, though the price remained down somewhat from the high of $84.23 averaged during April. Yesterday crude prices slipped to $80.70 per barrel.

U.S. natural gas prices rose last week to an average $4.79 per mmbtu (33.0% y/y). Yesterday, prices slipped to $4.60 but were down from an early-January high of $6.50.

Demand for gasoline increased 2.3% during the latest week versus one year ago. The demand for residual fuel oil fell by 11.8% versus last year but distillate demand rose a lessened 2.7% y/y. That's still improved from a 12.3% decline during February. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products have been rising since the winter but ticked up just 0.4% during the last twelve months.

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 08/09/10 08/02/10 07/26/10 Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.78 2.74 2.75 5.1% 2.35 3.25 2.80
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) -- 81.81 77.71 14.3 61.39 100.16 72.25
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) -- 4.79 4.65 33.0 3.95 8.88 6.97
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