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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip
by Tom Moeller  December 3, 2013

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline prices edged 2 cents lower last week to $3.27 (-3.6% y/y). That left prices down 13.5% versus the $3.78 per gallon peak reached late in February. Much of the decline reflects less driving this time of year. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for this seasonal volatility. The adjusted price rose slightly last week to $3.56 per gallon, its highest level since late July.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil fell to $93.20 (+6.3% y/y) last week, down from $108.77 in early September. Yesterday, prices edged up to $93.82. Brent crude oil prices moved up last week to $111.26 per barrel (1.3% y/y). Yesterday, prices ticked higher to $112.17 per barrel.

Natural gas prices increased last week to $3.82 per mmbtu (4.1% y/y), the highest level since mid-June. Yesterday, prices were roughly stable at $3.83 but remained down from the April peak of $4.26.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 5.9% y/y. Gasoline demand gained 4.7% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 35.7% y/y but distillate demand moved 5.9% higher y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 0.7% 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 petroleum demand and inventory figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 12/02/13 11/25/13 11/18/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.27 3.29 3.22 -3.6 3.62 3.52 2.78
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 93.20 94.00 93.93 6.3 94.20 95.14 79.51
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 3.82 3.68 3.61 4.1 2.75 3.99 4.00
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