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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip While Crude Oil Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  June 18, 2013

The price of regular gasoline retreated last week to $3.63 per gallon but remained up 2.6% versus last year. Prices remain below the $3.78 per gallon peak reached late in February. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price was stable at $3.48 per gallon.

Light sweet crude oil prices increased $2.05 last week to $96.31 per barrel (15.6% y/y) and remained close to where they've been this year. Nevertheless, the price exceeded the June 2012 low of $80.29. Yesterday prices improved further to $97.77. Brent crude oil prices also have been strengthening. They rose last week to $103.33 per barrel (6.5% y/y) and were $105.39 yesterday.

Natural gas prices have been under modest pressure as the heating season has passed. They declined last week to $3.78 per mmbtu (68.3% y/y) and held at $3.79 yesterday.

The demand for gasoline slipped 0.4% y/y last week, but the arrival of the summer driving season lifted demand sharply on a m/m basis. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, rose 0.3% y/y and distillate demand jumped 9.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories jumped 9.8% 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 Energy Prices 06/17/13 06/10/13 06/03/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.63 3.66 3.65 2.6 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 96.31 94.26 93.43 15.6 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.78 3.92 4.11 68.3 2.75 3.99 4.00
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