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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Remain Slightly Higher
by Tom Moeller  January 8, 2013

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline held steady last week at $3.30 per gallon. That followed two weeks of slight increase from the low of $3.25. Since their September peak, prices remain down 58 cents per gallon. The norm for this time of year, when driving is reduced, prices decline. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price fell seven cents w/w to $3.56 per gallon. Since their October peak, prices are down 27 cents per gallon.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil also rose last week to $92.55 per barrel (-9.6% y/y) and yesterday prices ticked higher to $93.19. Brent crude oil prices rose to $112.24 per barrel last week barrel and ticked higher to $112.82 yesterday.

Natural gas prices were roughly stable last week at $3.30 per mmbtu (+13.0% y/y) and slipped further to $3.15 yesterday.

The demand for gasoline fell 2.3% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 37.0% y/y while distillate demand was off 6.4% y/y. Inventories of crude oil & petroleum products rose 2.5% 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 01/07/13 12/31/12 12/24/12 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.30 3.30 3.26 -2.5 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 92.55 90.32 88.69 -9.6 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.30 3.34 3.30 13.0 2.75 3.99 4.40
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