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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue Upward Drift
by Tom Moeller  January 29, 2013

Energy prices have taken a new tack: northward. The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose another 4 cents last week to $3.36 per gallon. That followed a 2 cent rise during the prior. Still, prices remain down 52 cents per gallon since their September peak. The norm for this time of year, when driving is reduced, is for prices to decline. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price also rose 5 cents w/w to $3.60 per gallon. Since their October peak, prices are down 19 cents per gallon.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil also rose by $1.29 per barrel last week to $95.83 per barrel (-3.3% y/y) and yesterday prices increased further to $96.44. Brent crude oil prices rose to $113.51 per barrel last week barrel and rose further to $114.33 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week at $3.52 per mmbtu (37.5% y/y) but fell to $3.24 yesterday.

The demand for gasoline increased 1.4% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 42.3% y/y while distillate demand was off 8.2% y/y. Inventories of crude oil & petroleum products rose 2.9% y/y.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and the gasoline demand figures are in OILWKLY. 


Weekly Price 01/28/13 01/21/13 01/14/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.36 3.32 3.30 -2.4 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 95.83 94.54 93.36 -3.3 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.52 3.43 3.18 37.5 2.75 3.99 4.40
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