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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Rise Again
by Tom Moeller  April 8, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline increased to $3.60 (-0.3% y/y) last week and was at the highest level since early September. Prices remained below 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 declined last week at $3.41 per gallon.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil slipped last week to $100.46 (+5.8% y/y) but remained below the $108.67 high in early September. Yesterday, prices were stable at $100.44 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined last week to $105.51 per barrel (-1.6% y/y) and yesterday were $105.18 per barrel.

Natural gas prices were stable during the last week of March at $4.46 per mmbtu (10.1% y/y).

The demand for all petroleum products was roughly unchanged y/y last week. Gasoline demand increased 3.8% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, declined 40.6% y/y while distillate demand inched 0.6% y/y higher. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 2.3% 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 04/07/14 03/31/14 03/24/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.60 3.58 3.55 -0.3 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 100.46 100.66 99.77 5.8 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) -- 4.46 4.43 10.1 3.73 2.75 3.99
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