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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Continue Upward
by Tom Moeller  February 26, 2013

The recent upturn in the price of gasoline is continuing. The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline increased another three cents last week to $3.78 per gallon (1.7% y/y). Prices have risen 53 cents in just the last eight weeks. 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 fell 6 cents w/w to $3.88 per gallon.

Running counter to the gasoline price trend, the price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil fell $2.67 last week to $94.27 per barrel (-12.2% y/y) and yesterday prices slipped further to $93.11. Brent crude oil prices fell to $115.55 per barrel (-6.3% y/y) last week and slipped to $114.76 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose last week to $3.29 per mmbtu (25.3% y/y) and nudged higher to $3.42 yesterday.

The demand for gasoline rose 2.8% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 43.3% y/y but distillate demand increased 5.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil & petroleum products rose 2.0% 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 02/25/13 02/18/13 02/11/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.78 3.75 3.61 1.7 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 94.27 96.94 96.20 -12.2 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.29 3.26 3.33 25.3 2.75 3.99 4.00
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