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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Notch Lower
by Tom Moeller  November 20, 2012

Last week the pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell two cents (1.8%) to $3.43 per gallon. Since their September peak prices have fallen 45 cents per gallon. The minimal w/w price decline was not, however, enough to match the usual for this time of year of less driving. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for usual volatility and the adjusted price rose five cents w/w to $3.69 per gallon. Since their peak last month prices are down a lesser 17 cents per gallon.

The demand for gasoline rose 0.7% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, increased 7.9% y/y but distillate demand declined 14.0% y/y. Lending some support to prices was a 1.6% y/y decline in gasoline inventories.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil also slipped w/w to $85.88 per barrel but yesterday backed up to $89.28. Brent crude oil prices increased last week to $109.18 per barrel and were $110.72 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week to $3.56 per mmbtu but yesterday moved higher to $3.65, the highest level since late September of 2011.

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 11/19/12 11/12/12 11/05/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.43 3.45 3.49 1.8 3.52 2.78 2.35
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 85.88 85.99 85.88 -13.5 95.14 79.51 61.39
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.56 3.39 3.44 14.8 3.99 4.40 3.95
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