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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue to Meander Sideways
by Tom Moeller  June 10, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline slipped to $3.67 last week (0.5% y/y) versus $3.69 to begin the month of June. The price has been near the current level since April and remained down from the $3.78 per gallon peak reached in February of last year. To account for seasonal volatility, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted cost of gasoline rose one penny to $3.50 per gallon, the highest level since late-February.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil fell last week to $102.84 (+9.1% y/y). The seasonally adjusted price of $102.39 per barrel remained up sharply from $92.19 in early May. Yesterday, prices increased to $104.41. Brent crude oil prices slipped last week to $109.12 (+6.0% y/y) and yesterday were $110.43 per barrel.

Natural gas prices improved to $4.60 per mmbtu (17.4% y/y) and were roughly steady at $4.66 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products improved 2.7% y/y last week. Gasoline demand increased 5.4% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, declined by two-thirds y/y while distillate demand gained 6.9% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products were off 1.0% y/y and gasoline inventories fell 3.2% 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 06/09/14 06/02/14 05/26/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.67 3.69 3.67 0.5 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 102.84 103.62 103.82 9.1 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 4.60 4.52 4.49 17.4 3.73 2.75 3.99
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