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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Meander Sideways
by Tom Moeller  August 6, 2013

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline slipped 2 cents to $3.63 last week (-0.4% y/y). Nevertheless, it remained near the highest price since early-April. Prices remained down from the $3.78 per gallon peak reached late in February. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility. The adjusted price fell w/w to $3.52 per gallon and remained below the February peak of $3.94.

The earlier upward trend in light sweet crude oil prices recently ended. Last week's $105.50 per barrel (18.5% y/y) was down slightly from last month's weekly high $106.98. Prices have jumped from the June 2012 low of $80.29. Brent crude oil prices also fell last week to $108.71 per barrel (+1.6% y/y) and they remained down from the February high of $118.50.

Natural gas prices fell last week to $3.44 per mmbtu (+10.2% y/y) and were $3.33 yesterday, down from the April peak of $4.26.

The demand for gasoline rose 3.2% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 10.8% y/y but distillate demand jumped 15.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 7.5% 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 08/05/13 07/29/13 07/22/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.63 3.65 3.68 -0.4 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 105.50 105.94 106.98 18.5 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 3.44 3.67 3.71 10.2 2.75 3.99 4.00
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