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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Jump With Crude Costs
by Tom Moeller   December 07, 2010

The pump price for regular gasoline jumped ten cents last week to $2.96 per gallon. Prices have risen roughly fifty cents per gallon since the middle of last year and have surged from the December-2008 low of $1.61. Yesterday the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline of $2.38 was up from $2.27 averaged last week. 

Crude oil prices rose last week to an average $86.36 for a barrel of light sweet crude oil (WTI). Yesterday, the crude price rose further to $89.38 per barrel. 

Lastly, natural gas prices built on earlier seasonal improvement and rose last week to an average of $4.20 per mmbtu versus an average $3.49 in October. Yesterday, prices rose further to $4.43 but remained down from an early-January high of $6.50.

Demand for gasoline fell 0.5% in late-November versus last year after declines during October. The demand for residual fuel oil fell a greatly  lessened 6.8% but distillate demand rose 8.8% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products rose 0.9% during the last twelve months.

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 Prices 12/06/10 11/29/10 11/22/10 Y/Y% 2009 2008 2007
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.96 2.86 2.88 12.3 2.35 3.25 2.80
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI($ per bbl.) 86.36 81.92 82.20 12.4 61.39 100.16 72.25
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 4.20 3.99 3.72 -6.6 3.95 8.88 6.97
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