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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Weak
by Tom Moeller  August 5, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline declined two cents last week to $3.52 (-3.2% y/y). Prices 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 fell five cents to $3.41 per gallon, down for the fifth straight week.

WTI crude oil prices fell further last week to $101.38 per barrel (-2.4% y/y) from $104.35. It was the lowest level since early May. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver, declined to $100.15 per barrel but remained up sharply from $92.19 in early-May. Yesterday, prices fell further to $98.29. Brent crude oil prices declined last week to $105.73 per barrel (-2.7% y/y) and yesterday were $103.96.

Natural gas prices declined last week to $3.76 per mmbtu (+9.5% y/y), the lowest level since late-November. Prices improved yesterday to $3.82.

The demand for all petroleum products declined 0.9% last week versus last year. Gasoline demand fell 1.0% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell by more than one-third y/y while distillate demand fell 3.1% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products inched 0.2% higher y/y and gasoline inventories 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 08/04/14 07/28/14 07/21/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.52 3.54 3.59 -3.2 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 101.38 104.35 102.37 -3.9 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.76 3.80 4.05 9.5 3.73 2.75 3.99
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