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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Stabilize But Demand Surges
by Tom Moeller  November 27, 2012

Last week the pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline inched up one cent (3.9%) to $3.44 per gallon. Since their September peak prices have fallen 44 cents per gallon. The w/w price increase ran counter to the norm for this time of year of less driving and lower prices. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price rose nine cents w/w to $3.78 per gallon. Since their peak last month prices are down just eight cents per gallon.

The demand for gasoline jumped 1.6% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, rose by more than one-third y/y but distillate demand declined 9.2% y/y. Lending support to prices was a 4.4% y/y decline in gasoline inventories.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil jumped $1.92 last week to $87.80 per barrel. Yesterday prices were roughly stable at $87.74. Brent crude oil prices increased last week to $110.47 per barrel and were $110.62 yesterday.

Natural gas prices gained last week to $3.65 per mmbtu and yesterday moved higher to $3.77, 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 11/26/12 11/19/12 11/12/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.44 3.43 3.45 3.9 3.52 2.78 2.35
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 87.80 85.88 85.99 -9.7 95.14 79.51 61.39
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.65 3.56 3.39 28.3 3.99 4.40 3.95
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