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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Slip
by Tom Moeller  September 17, 2013

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 4 cents last week to $3.55 (-8.5% y/y). 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 also fell 4 cents w/w to $3.42 per gallon and remained below the February peak of $3.94.

Light sweet crude oil prices fell to $108.29 per barrel (10.9% y/y) but remained near the highest level since April 2011. Yesterday, prices declined further to $106.59. Prices remained up from the June 2012 low of $80.29. Brent crude oil prices also declined last week to $113.07 per barrel (-2.1% y/y) and they remained down from the February high of $118.09.

Natural gas prices slipped to $3.62 per mmbtu (+26.5% y/y) and were $3.68 yesterday, down from the April peak of $4.26.

The demand for gasoline slipped 0.2% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, gained 8.2% y/y while distillate demand increased 8.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 10.1% 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.

Forecasting Inflation and the Great Recession from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

Weekly Energy Prices 09/16/13 09/09/13 09/02/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.55 3.59 3.61 -8.5 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 108.29 108.77 108.33 10.9 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 3.62 3.65 3.55 26.5 2.75 3.99 4.00
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