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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  January 7, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline prices remained at $3.33 (1.0% y/y) last week but remained down versus last year's peak of $3.78 per gallon. Much of the decline versus the peak reflects less driving this time of year. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for this seasonal volatility. The adjusted price of $3.61 per gallon was up sharply since early-October.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil declined to $96.62 (+9.4% y/y) last week. That remained down sharply from last year's high of $108.67 reached in early September. Yesterday, prices fell further to $93.43. Brent crude oil prices declined last week to $108.57 per barrel, -3.3% y/y, and yesterday were $106.57 per barrel.

Natural gas prices slipped last week to $4.35 per mmbtu, but remained up roughly one-third year-to-year. Yesterday, prices continued their uptrend with a rise to $4.50.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 3.3% y/y last week. Gasoline demand gained 3.5% y/y last week. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell by one-third y/y but distillate demand increased 1.4% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 1.9% y/y and gasoline inventories were off 2.2% 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 01/06/14 12/30/13 12/23/13 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.33 3.33 3.27 1.0 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 96.62 99.17 97.97 4.4 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 4.35 4.41 4.27 31.6 3.73 2.75 3.99
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