Oil slips as US growth lags expectations

Oil drops 1 percent after US first-quarter growth trails expectations

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil slipped after two days of strong gains as U.S. economic growth was slightly slower than expected.

By midday in New York Friday, benchmark oil for June delivery was down $1.18, or 1.3 percent, to $92.46 a barrel. Oil gained $4.46, or 5 percent, over the two prior days.

U.S. economic growth accelerated to an annual rate of 2.5 percent from January through March from an anemic pace in the previous quarter. But the markets were expecting growth of 3 percent or better.

The U.S. figure follows last week's report of slower-than-expected growth in China, raising questions about demand in the world's biggest oil-consuming countries.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline was $3.51, down 32 cents from a year ago.

Brent crude, which is used to price oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, was down 80 cents to $102.61 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.80 per gallon.

— Heating oil declined 2 cents to $2.86 a gallon.

— Natural gas lost 5 cents to $4.11 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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