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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Post Further Gains
by Tom Moeller  February 18, 2015

Average gasoline prices improved another 8 cents last week to $2.27 per gallon (-32.7% y/y) following the prior week's 12 cent lift. Despite the gains, prices remained well below the $3.70 per gallon peak reached this past June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price increased 5 cents to $2.39 per gallon last week.

For the week ended February 13, WTI crude oil prices recovered to an average $51.18 per barrel (-48.9% y/y). Yesterday prices moved higher to $53.53 per barrel. These prices compare to a June peak of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver Analytics improved further to $54.52 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices increased to $56.81 per barrel last week (-47.9% y/y) then to $60.78 yesterday.

Natural gas prices edged higher to $2.74 (-57.7% y/y) per mmbtu during the week ended February 13. Prices strengthened to $2.95 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products improved 3.1% y/y and gasoline demand increased 3.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products increased 7.9% y/y, the strongest rise in five years, and gasoline inventories grew 4.1% y/y.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data 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 02/16/15 02/09/15 02/02/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.27 2.19 2.07 -32.7 3.36 3.51 3.62
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 51.18 50.58 45.33 -48.9 93.63 97.95 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.74 2.64 2.87 -57.7 4.37 3.73 2.7
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