Oil Little Changed; Pump Prices Down a Tad

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil was little changed Thursday after the government slightly revised upward its estimate of fourth-quarter U.S. economic growth.

Benchmark crude for April delivery fell 10 cents to $92.66 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate from October through December, the Commerce Department said. That's the weakest performance in nearly two years. The latest estimate of fourth-quarter growth was only slightly better than the government's initial estimate that the economy shrank at a rate of 0.1 percent.

But economists believe a steady housing rebound, stronger hiring and solid spending by consumers and businesses are pushing economic growth higher in the current quarter.

Pump prices fell for only the third time in the last 41 days, and by just a trickle. The average for a gallon of gas slid to $3.782 a gallon from $3.786. The price is still 5 cents more than it was a year ago, and 42 cents higher than it was just a month earlier.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, rose 38 cents to $112.25 on the ICE Futures exchange In London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents at $3.14 a gallon.
  • Heating oil was unchanged at $2.99 a gallon.
  • Natural gas rose 5 cents to $3.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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