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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip Again But Crude Oil Costs Inch Higher
by Tom Moeller  January 22, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline prices fell to $3.30 (-0.6% y/y) last week and remained down versus the $3.78 per gallon peak reached in February of last year. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility. The adjusted price also fell last week to $3.53 per gallon, down from $3.94 in February last year.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil ticked up to $93.22 (-1.4% y/y) last week but remained down sharply from the $108.67 high in early September. Yesterday, prices rose further to $94.99. Brent crude oil prices also gained last week to $107.62 per barrel (-3.3% y/y) and yesterday rose to $109.97 per barrel.

Natural gas prices strengthened further last week to $4.38 per mmbtu and were up more than one-quarter versus last year. Yesterday, prices jumped again to $4.58.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 4.2% y/y last week. Gasoline demand gained 2.7% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell by 16.5% y/y but distillate demand improved 5.4% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 3.1% 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 petroleum demand and inventory figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 01/20/14 01/13/14 01/06/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.30 3.33 3.33 -0.6 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 93.22 92.42 96.47 -1.4 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 4.38 4.30 4.35 27.5 3.73 2.75 3.99
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