Gasoline Prices Soaring Again

By DataAnalytics

Monthly Gasoline prices SPIKE one more time.

Now $3.65 per gallon (2/24). THAT’S THREE DOLLARS SIXTY FIVE CENTS.
Up $0.08 cents within the week. So far gas has RISEN from $3.23 to $3.65
per gallon just since January.

(2/20)
The average pump price of regular gasoline in the U.S. has
now risen to $3.57
from a month ago at $3.385 p/gal., and
up from $3.171 p/gal., just a year ago. A hefty 12.6% rise.

Price Chart
Here is what the main stream media, the Street and the
department of energy are reporting:

Both Brent and WTI are trading well above $100 per Barrel.

WTI   Brent

The burning question is why.

Here are the corporate owned media ‘talking-points’:

  • Geo-political tensions
  • Possibility of supply interruptions
  • Decreased crude supply from Nigeria and Libya.
  • Decreased capacity from Cushing/Midwestern refinery’s
  • Higher demand from India & China

Nigerian production

 

In turn, this is what investment firms and traders use as
a so-called “inflection point” or “trigger” to artificially drive
prices up, of both crude oil and retail gasoline.

However, here are a number of facts uncovered by DataAnalytics.

Most of the previously lost Libyan production is back to
750-800K/per day.

Nigerian production of approx., 2 mb/per day has been relatively
stable for the past 15 months.

The supposed Geo-political issues in the middle east have been
on-going for the past 40+ years. This is nothing new.

The prospect of supply being disrupted is slight.

U.S. Gasoline demand is at its lowest in 17 years.

E.U. Gasoline demand lowest in a decade

  • The level of supply is elevated
  • The level of demand has decreased

Gasoline supply has increased 9.7% from January.
Refinery utilization has declined from 85.6% to 84%
per day or only 0.4% which equates to -218K per day.
(this is basically a negligible amount)

Other than geo-political rhetoric and wild, unregulated
speculation, the mostly normal and broadly acceptable model
of demand and supply, based on consumption, appears to have
no place in the current price  ‘controls’ established by Wall Street,
OPEC and supposed government regulations.

The fact is that the current and wild speculation is unfounded
and is in the process of creating a gasoline bubble. Just last week,
traders bought 90 million barrels of futures contracts for themselves.

A major consequence of course is increased consumer inflation
and the further erosion of discretionary income and spending.

The most perilous potential result could be a Double-Dip Recession.
The bottom line is that the average consumer will suffer the
most, while only a very select will benefit and benefit enormously.

When supply is up and demand is down, but prices keep rising,
it does not take a PhD to figure out the causation. Which is
neither one of a geo-political, mechanical or physical supply issue.
In short, it is simply the underlying ambition of unreasonable profit,
by baseless speculation, at the great expense of the consuming public.

We are working on a more in-depth story regarding crude oil
and gasoline commodities. Stay tuned.

Preliminary February Unemployment Rate

By DataAnalytics

U3 rate jumps back up to 9%

Gallup’s latest report suggests the BLS will “likely report on the first
Friday of March that its seasonally adjusted unemployment
rate increased in February.”

Gallup Chart

Gallup’s mid-month unemployment rate analysis is a preliminary
estimate of the BLS government report. Data now suggests that the
Bureau of Labor Statistics will likely report on March 2nd that its
“Seasonally Adjusted” U3 unemployment rate will indeed actually
INCREASE 
in February.

Meanwhile, the U6 rate (underemployment/unemployment) has also
spiked up to 19%, from the purported S.A. 15.7%  rate. The take away
here is that the labor market is worsening as we have suggested.

The non-seasonally adjusted data can be a more effective gauge of
the labor markets overall health. That, and the “Mean Duration” of
unemployment, which is near 41 weeks, accompanied by the all
alarming statistic of 43% of those who are unemployed are in that
Long-Term Unemployment category.

Labor Force Participation Rate is the key to deciphering and analyzing
the realistic unemployment rates. From approximately 2000 to 2009,
the LFPR had been about 67% +/-. But in the past 2+ years the LFPR
has been falling and now stands at approximately 64%+/-.

The reality is that the true total underemployment/unemployment
rate could be as high as 36%. Though it is difficult to pin down exact
numbers without having access to payroll income tax data.

But it is safe to state, that the total unemployment rate is roughly
between 25% and 36%. That is One Quarter to One Third of ALL
available would-be workers out of full-time work or out of work all together.

What this latest batch of data suggests, proves, is that the false claims
and bell-ringing of an economic recovery are worthless. The “Hopium”
that is being passed around in the “progressive pipe” has burned a hole
in the brains of those who are buying-in to the massive propaganda
war being waged by the government and the corporate owned media.

The economy is tanking day by day. All of the meaningful economic
indicators are either flat or negative. We have gone over them time and
time again in the last year, but it doesn’t seem to sink in.

Real Retail Sales were 0.0% in December. Preliminary figures
for January were 0.4%,  which will be revised downward again.
Most big name retailers are in serious trouble.

Profit margins in 2011 were down for almost every major retailer.
Many are now in bankruptcy, due to the massive price slashing
efforts in order to gain the foot traffic in the last quarter of 2011.

Auto sales were misleading as well, as the bulk of orders were not
for customers, but rather dealership inventories.

Crude oil and gasoline are spiraling out of control and have seen
double-digit percentage increases over last year at this time. These
rising fuel commodities show no signs of slowing down or reducing
which is further jeopardizing the economy.

Food prices are up and slightly rising as well and are expected to
remain at elevated levels in 2012. Another cold harsh reality is that
Food & Fuel inflation is up approximately 30%+/- from a year ago.

Housing market remains depressed with median prices still falling,
due in part to the huge inventory of distressed properties. With more
foreclosures due to hit the market all throughout 2012, prices will
continue to slide. This will negatively affect existing homes and
mortgage holders who are already underwater.

Debt, both personal and corporate were up in 2011 and will not
abate anytime soon.

GDP for Q4 2011, was 2.8%. Now, strip out the stockpiled inventories
which accounted for 1.9%, then remove autos, 0.6% and ta-da!
Q4 GDP was a Whopping 0.3%! Zero point three of a percent.

There you have it, 5 major indicators of economic activity are flat to
negative and are nowhere near improving because of one simple word:
Jobs. The labor market is the crux of our economic engine, period.

It’s not the stock market or any other insignificant indicator the media
and shill economists tout. Without sufficient labor levels and wages, the
all important Purchasing Power is diminished or completely eliminated.
Which tends to halt almost all economic activity (except necessities)
in our +/-67 percent  “consumption-driven” economy.
(is the light bulb coming on yet?)