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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Under Pressure
by Tom Moeller  January 27, 2015

Average gasoline prices declined another 3 cents in the week ended January 26 to $2.04 per gallon, the lowest level since April 2009. Prices have fallen by more than one-third during the last year and by nearly one-half since their June high of $3.70 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.25 per gallon last week from $2.28 during the week prior.

WTI crude oil prices continued to decline, last week to an average $46.62 per barrel (-51.6% y/y) in the week ended January 23. Yesterday, prices declined further to $45.15 per barrel. These levels compare to a June peak of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver Analytics declined to $50.34 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $46.44 per barrel last week (-57.4% y/y) then were $46.07 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.94 (-41.1% y/y) per mmbtu during the week ended January 23 and held at $2.93 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 4.9% y/y in the week ended January 16 and gasoline demand jumped 8.7% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 6.6% y/y, the strongest rise in five years, and gasoline inventories grew 2.4% y/y.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and petroleum demand and inventory figures can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 01/26/15 01/19/15 01/12/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.04 2.07 2.14 -38.0 3.36 3.51 3.62
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 46.62 47.07 48.77 -51.6 93.63 97.95 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.94 3.06 3.02 -41.1 4.37 3.73 2.75
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