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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Nudge Higher
by Tom Moeller  January 23, 2013

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline moved up 2 cents last week to $3.32 per gallon after three straight weeks at $3.30. Nevertheless, since their September peak, prices remain down 56 cents per gallon. The norm for this time of year, when driving is reduced, is for prices to decline. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price also rose 3 cents w/w to $3.55 per gallon. Since their October peak, prices are down 24 cents per gallon.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil also rose last week to $94.54 per barrel (-5.5% y/y) and yesterday prices increased further to $96.24. Brent crude oil prices fell to $111.26 per barrel last week barrel but ticked higher to $112.77 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week at $3.43 per mmbtu (43.4% y/y) and rose further to $3.58 yesterday.

The demand for gasoline fell slipped 0.6% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell by one-half y/y while distillate demand was off 5.2% y/y. Inventories of crude oil & petroleum products rose 2.9% 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 01/21/13 01/14/13 01/07/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.32 3.30 3.30 -2.2 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 94.54 93.36 92.55 -5.5 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.43 3.18 3.30 43.4 2.75 3.99 4.40
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