Recent Updates

  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Jan-prelim), IP & Capacity Utilization (Dec)
  • Consumer Sentiment (Jan-prelim)
  • US: Industrial Production Detail (Dec)
  • Canada: CPI (Dec), Intl Transactions in Securities (Nov)
  • Canada Regional: CPI by Province (Dec)
  • Germany: Hotel and Restaurant Turnover (Nov), Tax Revenues (Q3)
  • Turkey: IIP, International Reserves, Foreign Trade Indexes (Nov)
  • Mexico: Manufacturing Employment (Nov)
  • Colombia: Manufacturing IP, Retail Sales (Nov)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Have Nowhere To Go But Up But Crude Oil Is Volatile
by Tom Moeller  May 10, 2011

Last week, the pump price for regular gasoline rose another penny to $3.97 per gallon, the highest level since July, 2008. Typically, however, pump prices start rising this time of year in anticipation of increased seasonal demand. To account for this pattern, Haver Analytics calculates seasonal factors. The adjusted gasoline price fell to $3.73 per gallon, is lowest in four weeks. Yesterday, the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline held steady with last week at $3.23, down from the late-April high of $3.30.

Crude oil prices fell last week to an average $106.16 for a barrel of WTI. The price compares to the 2008 weekly low of $32.37. After falling to a daily low of $97.18 on Friday, prices recovered yesterday to $102.55 due Mississippi River flooding.

Higher prices continued to affect demand for petroleum products. Gasoline demand fell 1.9% on average during the last four weeks versus last year. Conversely, the demand for residual fuel oil, used for heating, rose 6.9% y/y and distillate demand rose 6.9% as well. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 2.3% year-to-year compared to 10.0% growth in the middle of 2009.

Finally, natural gas prices strengthened w/w to $4.49 per mmbtu but yesterday gave that all back with a decline to $4.23 and remained down from last year's early-January high of $6.50.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and the gasoline demand figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Price 5/9/11 5/2/11 4/25/11 Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.97 3.96 3.88 36.5 2.78 2.35 3.25
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 106.16 112.93 109.61 32.3 79.51 61.39 100.16
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 4.49 4.40 4.27 13.5 4.40 3.95 8.88
large image