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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Weaken Again
by Tom Moeller  September 24, 2013

The price of regular gasoline declined another 5 cents last week to $3.50 per gallon (-8.7% 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 of $3.42 per gallon remained below the February peak of $3.94.

Light sweet crude oil prices also fell last week to $106.21 per barrel (+12.6% y/y). Yesterday prices declined further to $103.59 per barrel. Crude oil costs remained up from the June 2012 low of $80.29. Brent crude oil prices declined sharply last week to $109.97 per barrel (-1.5% y/y) and they remained down from the February high of $118.09. Yesterday, prices fell further to $108.80.

Natural gas prices rose to $3.72 per mmbtu (34.9% y/y) and were $3.65 yesterday, down from the April peak of $4.26.

The demand for gasoline ticked 0.5% y/y higher last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 16.7% y/y while distillate demand gained 10.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 10.0% 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 09/23/13 09/16/13 09/09/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.50 3.55 3.59 -8.7 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 106.21 108.36 108.77 12.6 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 3.72 3.62 3.65 34.9 2.75 3.99 4.00
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