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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Reverse Earlier Decline
by Tom Moeller  October 10, 2012

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline recovered five cents last week to $3.85, the highest level in three weeks. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for regular volatility and the adjusted price rose seven cents to $3.85 per gallon, the highest level since early-April.

The weakening of global economies helped the price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil fall last week to $90.82 per barrel. Yesterday, the cost of crude recovered to $92.39 per barrel. Prices peaked at $113.93 in April, 2011. Haver's seasonally adjusted crude oil price dipped to $89.14 per barrel last week. Brent crude firmed last week to $111.84 per barrel and rose further to $114.98 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose last week to $3.21 per mmbtu, a ten month high, but yesterday fell back slightly to $3.18.

The demand for gasoline fell 2.5% y/y. The demand for residual fuel oil, used for heating, fell 43.2% y/y and distillate demand was off 4.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 1.5% y/y. That comparison was improved from the 5.0% y/y decline this past fall.

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 10/08/12 10/01/12 09/24/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.85 3.80 3.83 12.7 3.52 2.78 2.35
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 90.82 91.46 94.33 13.9 95.14 79.51 61.39
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.21 2.93 2.75 -9.1 3.99 4.40 3.95
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