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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Down Again As Crude Oil Prices Fall
by Tom Moeller  December 12, 2012

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline declined four cents last week (+1.9% y/y) to $3.35 per gallon. Since their September peak, prices have fallen fifty three cents per gallon. The norm for this time of year of less driving is for prices to decline. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price fell a lesser two cents w/w to $3.72 per gallon. Since their October peak prices are down 14 cents per gallon.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil slipped last week to $87.53 per barrel (-12.6% y/y) but yesterday prices fell further to $85.79. Brent crude oil prices fell  last week to $108.93 per barrel and were $108.20 yesterday.

Natural gas prices continued down last week to $3.39 per mmbtu (-0.3% y/y) and slipped slightly this week.

The demand for gasoline was roughly unchanged y/y late last month but the demand trend has firmed substantially. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 8.1% y/y but distillate demand improved 1.7% y/y. Inventories of crude oil & petroleum products rose 2.1% y/y.

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 12/10/12 12/03/12 11/26/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.35 3.39 3.44 1.9 3.52 2.78 2.35
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 87.53 87.68 87.80 -12.6 95.14 79.51 61.39
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.39 3.67 3.65 -0.3 3.99 4.40 3.95
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