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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Decline Sharply
by Tom Moeller  October 7, 2014

Petroleum prices remain under downward pressure. The cost of a gallon of regular gasoline fell sharply last week to $3.30 (-2.0% y/y), its least expensive since early-February. To account for seasonal patterns, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted price declined to $3.28 per gallon from $3.33.

WTI crude oil prices also weakened to $91.44 per barrel (-11.3% y/y) last week and yesterday declined further to $90.34. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $95.87 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $93.61 per barrel last week (-14.0% y/y) and declined further to $91.93 yesterday.

Natural gas prices strengthened last week to $4.05 per mmbtu (13.6% y/y) but returned to $3.88 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 1.1% y/y in the week ended September 26. Gasoline demand slipped 0.7% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 13.9% y/y while distillate demand edged 0.7% higher y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products gained 0.2% y/y but gasoline inventories were down 5.1% 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 10/06/14 09/29/14 09/22/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.30 3.35 3.35 -2.0 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 91.44 93.15 93.52 -11.3 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 4.05 3.88 3.91 13.6 3.73 2.75 3.99
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