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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Price Decline Accelerates, Sparking Demand
by Tom Moeller  December 9, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline slumped last week to an average $2.68 (-18.0% y/y) versus $2.78 during the prior week. The 3.6% weekly decline was the quickest since prices hit their peak in 2011. Prices remained down versus an interim peak of $3.65 reached this past June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price slipped to $2.92 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices slumped to an average $67.20 last week (-30.2% y/y) from $72.36 during the prior period. Yesterday prices were down further to $63.05. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $69.36 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $70.07 last week (-37.5% y/y) and were $65.87 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined last week to $3.65 per mmbtu (-7.3% y/y) and fell further to $3.49 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products declined 0.6% y/y in the week ended November 28 but gasoline demand improved 3.2% y/y as prices fell. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 1.4% y/y but gasoline inventories declined 1.8% 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 12/08/14 12/01/14 11/24/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.68 2.78 2.82 -18.0 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 67.20 72.36 75.38 -30.2 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.65 4.17 4.33 -7.3 3.73 2.75 3.99
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