National Average Price Per Gallon: $3.025
According to Majid Jafar, the CEO of Crescent Petroleum, global oil prices could soon “soar” to $80 per barrel. Jafar blames the potential rise in gas prices on falling output in Venezuela.
In the U.S. market, the International Energy Agency is predicting a “record-setting” year for energy production.
“Relentless growth should see the U.S. hit historic highs above 10 million barrels a day [in production], overtaking Saudi Arabia and rivaling Russia during the course of 2018,” the organization said in a report published on Friday.
Random lengths – framing lumber: $458
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $454
Continuing trends from last week, framing lumber trading remained active. Again, the prices of some products were pushed to all-time highs. This brisk pace in trading is highly unusual given the time of year and cold temperatures across much of the country.
Cold temperatures in the south disrupted trading in Southern Pine plywood products. Despite this, sales of OSB remained strong throughout the country.
Staffing & Job Market News
The U.S. job market performed better than many economists expected during 2017.
According to Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, the 2017 job gains were “pretty solid, particularly in an economy that by most traditional measures is at or beyond full employment.”
The tax law signed by President Trump on December 22 is expected to add to further job gains in 2018. Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, predicts that the law will create an additional 300,000 jobs in 2018.
However, because unemployement remains exceptionally low (at about 4.1%), job gains are expected to be slower overall in 2018 than in 2017.
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