Indications about the rapid pace of gross domestic product growth in the world's largest economy prompted West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to end the Thursday trade session rising higher in value, according to Bloomberg.
The U.S. Department of Commerce released data indicating the economy of the U.S., also the globe's biggest consumer of the energy commodity, increased at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the seven-day period ending March 22, U.S. oil demand was the strongest since this past December, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration, a unit of the U.S. Department of Energy.
"GDP is better than earlier estimates and a strong economy is bullish for oil," president Michael Lynch with Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, told the news source on Friday. "It looks like the spread will keep contracting."
With many worldwide markets closed for Good Friday observation, on Thursday at 5:14 p.m., West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose 0.67 percent, a 65-cent increase to $97.23 per barrel. At 5:59 p.m. on Thursday, Brent crude oil prices climbed 0.3 percent, a 33-cent boost to $110.02 per barrel.
Dow Jones Newswires reports imports of U.S. crude oil increased 5 percent to 7.953 million barrels per day in January.