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VOL. 37 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 20, 2013

Oil rises on improved US economic growth

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil edged closer to $100 a barrel Friday after the U.S. government said the economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter than originally estimated.

Benchmark U.S. oil rose 28 cents to close at $99.32. For the week, oil rose about 3 percent, largely because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. The last time oil closed above $100 a barrel was Oct. 18.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously believed. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending.

A stronger outlook for the economy and job market prompted the Federal Reserve this week to begin winding down its bond-buying program, which was intended to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending.

At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 1 cent to $3.22. That's down 3 cents from a week and equal with the average price at this time last year.

Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refiners, rose $1.48, or 1.3 percent, to close at $111.77.

In other energy futures trading:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to close at $2.78 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 5 cents to close at $3.08 a gallon.

— Natural gas dropped 4 cents to $4.42 per thousand cubic feet.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0