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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  July 2, 2013

The price of regular gasoline fell last week to $3.50 per gallon. The decline was the third consecutive weekly drop and was to the lowest level since early January. Prices were well below the $3.78 per gallon peak reached late in February. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility. The adjusted price also fell for the third consecutive week. At $3.45 per gallon it compared to a February peak of $3.94.

Light sweet crude oil prices slipped 79 cents last week to $95.92 per barrel (+19.5% y/y), continuing the erratic sideways movement in place this year. Nevertheless, the price exceeded the June 2012 low of $80.29. Yesterday prices were roughly stable at $96.07. Brent crude oil prices slipped last week to $101.56 per barrel (+10.1% y/y) but improved yesterday to $103.28. Prices remained down from the February high of $118.50.

Natural gas prices have been under modest pressure as the heating season has passed. They declined last week to $3.72 per mmbtu (+34.8% y/y) and held at $3.79 yesterday, down from the April peak of $4.26.

The demand for gasoline slipped 0.3% y/y last week. The arrival of the summer driving season has raised gasoline demand 3.5% since the April low. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 1.0% y/y but distillate demand rose 9.3% 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 07/01/13 06/24/13 06/17/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.50 3.58 3.63 4.2 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 95.92 96.71 96.31 19.5 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 3.72 3.88 3.78 34.8 2.75 3.99 4.00
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