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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  May 12, 2015

Gasoline prices rose 3 cents last week to an average $2.69 per gallon (-26.6%) at the pump, the highest level since early-December and up nearly one-third versus the late-January low of $2.04. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price rose last week to $2.55 per gallon. Spot-market gasoline prices rose to an average $2.07 per gallon from an early-January low of $1.28.

Higher WTI crude oil costs are accompanying the gasoline price increase. During the latest week, crude oil prices rose to an average $59.72 per barrel (-40.5% y/y), up from the March low of $44.39. This remained most expensive since the second week of December. Yesterday, prices slipped to $59.25 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, gained last week to $58.46 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $65.01 per barrel last week and fell to $62.82 yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to $2.76 per mmbtu (-41.8% y/y) last week and rose further to $2.85 yesterday.

Gasoline demand increased 3.9% y/y while demand for all petroleum products rose 2.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories grew 2.9% y/y. Inventories of all petroleum products increased 9.2% y/y as their level continues to surge.

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 05/11/15 05/04/15 04/27/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.69 2.66 2.57 -26.6 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 59.72 57.99 56.14 -40.5 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.76 2.56 2.56 -41.8 4.37 3.73 2.7
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