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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Fall to Lowest Level Since 2009
by Tom Moeller  December 23, 2014

Gasoline prices remained on their downward trajectory last week, falling to an average $2.40 (-26.5% y/y), the lowest level since May 2009. Prices have fallen from $3.69 per gallon averaged this past June and from $3.91 in May, 2011. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.68 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices moved 8.7% lower last week to an average $55.81 per barrel (-43.0% y/y) from $61.14 during the prior week. Yesterday prices stabilized at $55.26. Prices were roughly one-half lower than their June peak of $107.52. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $59.20 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $59.68 last week (-45.8% y/y) and were $58.30 yesterday.

Natural gas prices were stable last week at $3.60 per mmbtu (-15.6% y/y) but tumbled to $3.04 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products gained 1.4% y/y in the week ended December 12 and gasoline demand rose 4.1% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased an accelerated 2.9% y/y and gasoline inventories grew 0.7% 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 12/22/14 12/15/14 12/08/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.40 2.55 2.68 -26.5 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 55.81 61.14 67.18 -43.0 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.60 3.59 3.65 -15.6 3.73 2.75 3.99
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