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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Firm
by Tom Moeller  June 24, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline ticked higher to $3.70 last week (3.6% y/y). The price has been near the current level since April but 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 five cents to $3.59 per gallon.

The cost of WTI crude oil increased last week to $106.83 per barrel (10.5% y/y), the highest level since last September. The seasonally adjusted price of $107.68 per barrel, generated by Haver Analytics, remained up sharply from $92.19 in early May. Yesterday, prices slipped to $106.17. Brent crude oil prices improved last week to $114.27 per barrel (10.0% y/y) and yesterday were $113.72.

Natural gas prices edged up to $4.64 per mmbtu (19.6% y/y) but fell to $4.48 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products improved 1.8% y/y last week. Gasoline demand increased 2.9% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell by nearly one-third y/y while distillate demand rose 2.5% y/y higher. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products were off 1.4% y/y and gasoline inventories fell 3.4% 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 06/23/14 06/16/14 06/09/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.70 3.69 3.67 3.6 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 106.83 105.97 103.23 10.5 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 4.64 4.58 4.60 19.6 3.73 2.75 3.99
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