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Oil rose for the first time in four days as the U.S. economy expanded more than previously estimated and on optimism that President Barack Obama will reach an agreement with Congress over a new budget.
Prices gained as much as 2.5 percent as gross domestic product grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, up from a prior estimate of 2 percent, figures from the Commerce Department showed. Three out of four global investors expect a short-term agreement to avert more than $600 billion in U.S. spending cuts and tax increases, known as the fiscal cliff.
The U.S. economy expanded as a narrower trade deficit and gains in inventory overshadowed a smaller increase in consumer spending. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed called for 2.8 percent growth in third-quarter GDP, the value of all goods and services produced. The economy grew 1.3 percent in the second quarter.
Oil also rose after other reports showed fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week and Americans signed more contracts in October to purchase previously owned homes.
Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 23,000 to 393,000 in the week ended Nov. 24, according to the Labor Department. The index of pending home resales climbed 5.2 percent in October, exceeding the highest estimate in a survey of economists, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed.
The U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, used 18.8 million barrels a day in 2011, or 21 percent of the global total, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
Crude for January delivery climbed to $88.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 2.5 percent this month.
Brent for January settlement rose $1.54, or 1.4 percent, to $111.05 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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