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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Hold Steady; Crude Oil Price Falls
by Tom Moeller  September 30, 2014

The cost of a gallon of regular gasoline held at $3.35 last week (-2.1% y/y), remaining the least expensive since mid-February. To account for seasonal patterns, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted price increased to $3.33 per gallon from $3.27.

WTI crude oil prices declined to $92.38 per barrel (-10.4% y/y) last week but yesterday recovered to $94.57. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver improved to $95.87 per barrel last week, the highest level since late last month. Brent crude oil prices fell to $95.40 per barrel last week (-12.2% y/y) but improved to $96.10 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped last week at $3.88 per mmbtu (+9.5% y/y) and yesterday were stable.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 1.5% y/y in the week ended September 19. Gasoline demand was unchanged y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 19.8% y/y while distillate demand was roughly unchanged y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products gained 0.8% y/y but gasoline inventories were down 2.7% 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 09/29/14 09/22/14 09/15/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.35 3.35 3.41 -2.1 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 92.38 93.52 92.43 -10.4 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.88 3.91 3.90 9.5 3.73 2.75 3.99
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