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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip
by Tom Moeller  October 16, 2012

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell three cents last week to $3.82. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for usual  volatility and the adjusted price rose one penny to $3.86 per gallon, the highest level since early-April.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil improved last week to $91.38 per barrel. Yesterday, the cost of crude was $91.86 per barrel. Prices peaked at $113.93 in April, 2011. Haver's seasonally adjusted crude oil price per barrel increased last week to $90.42. Brent crude firmed further last week to $114.96 per barrel and rose further to $116.18 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose last week to $3.26 per mmbtu, a ten month high.

The demand for gasoline fell 3.3% y/y. The demand for residual fuel oil, used for heating, fell 22.3% y/y and distillate demand was off 3.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 1.3% 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 10/15/12 10/08/12 10/01/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.82 3.85 3.80 9.9 3.52 2.78 2.35
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 91.38 90.82 91.46 6.8 95.14 79.51 61.39
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.26 3.21 2.93 -6.8 3.99 4.40 3.95
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