National Average Diesel Price Per Gallon: $2.97
Analysts fear the political crisis in Venezuela will cause wild swings in oil prices.
According to John Kilduff of Again Capital Management, Washington and Caracas have a “symbiotic relationship.” The U.S. has five oil refineries on the Gulf coast that are “heavily reliant” on Venezuelan crude.
President Trump has not ruled out economic sanctions against Venezuela, which could heavily disrupt the global oil market.
Framing lumber: $336
Framing lumber trading picked up speed last week, although winter weather slowed activity in some markets. Trading across all products was more active, which pushed the price index up by $6 versus the previous week.
Demand for structural panel products remained lukewarm. However, a perception of tightening supplies did raise the index price by $2 versus the previous week.
Job Market & Staffing News
According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $11 billion. This includes a “permanent loss” of $3 billion that can’t be recouped.
The losses reflect a lack of output from federal workers, delayed government spending, and reduced demand.
“Among those who experienced the largest and most direct negative effects are federal workers who faced delayed compensation and private-sector entities that lost business,” the report said. “Some of those private-sector entities will never recoup that lost income.”
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