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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Move Lower
by Tom Moeller  September 16, 2014

Prices for energy products remained under pressure last week. The price for a gallon of regular gasoline declined to $3.41 (-3.9% y/y). It was the lowest level since mid-February. To account for seasonal patterns, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted price declined to $3.28 per gallon, the lowest level since December 2010. The N.Y. spot market price for unleaded regular gasoline was $2.74, down from $3.00 in April.

WTI crude oil prices fell sharply last week to $92.43 per barrel (-14.6% y/y), the lowest level since early in January. Yesterday, prices ticked up to $92.92. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $92.18 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $97.24 per barrel last week (-14.0% y/y) and were $96.41 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped last week and averaged $3.90 per mmbtu (+7.6% y/y). Yesterday, prices held at $3.91.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 2.1% y/y in the week ended September 5. Gasoline demand was roughly unchanged y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 60.2% y/y while distillate demand improved 1.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products gained 0.2% y/y but gasoline inventories were down 2.4% 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 09/15/14 09/08/14 09/01/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.41 3.46 3.46 -3.9 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 92.43 94.06 96.26 -14.6 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.90 3.92 3.98 7.6 3.73 2.75 3.99
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