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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Slip
by Tom Moeller  June 23, 2015

Gasoline prices eased 0.8% last week to an average $2.81 per gallon at the pump (-24.1% y/y). They remained up from the low of $2.04 late in January. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price was fairly steady at $2.69 per gallon, below the cost at the pump since prices typically are stronger during the summer driving season. Spot market gasoline prices rose sharply to $2.15 per gallon (-25.6% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs fell to an average $59.90 per barrel (-44.1% y/y), up versus the March low of $44.39. Yesterday, prices eased to $59.68 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, eased last week to $58.09 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined to $60.65 per barrel, the lowest level in two months but held at $60.54 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased to $2.88 per mmbtu last week (-38.0% y/y), the highest level since early-March. Prices were $2.86 yesterday.

The gasoline market is tightening. Gasoline inventories grew 1.7% y/y, down from 9.3% growth before the summer driving season. Inventories of all petroleum products increased 7.9% y/y. Gasoline demand increased 3.3% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 5.2% 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 06/22/15 06/15/15 06/08/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.81 2.84 2.78 -24.1 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 59.90 60.07 59.66 -44.1 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.88 2.81 2.60 -38.0 4.37 3.73 2.7
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