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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Are Still Weakening
by Tom Moeller  August 11, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump fell to an average $2.63 per gallon (-25.0% y/y) last week, the lowest level since late-April. This summer's high in prices was $2.84 per gallon reached in mid-June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell 7 cents to $2.51 per gallon. Spot market gasoline prices eased w/w to $1.72 per gallon (-35.9% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs dropped sharply last week to an average $44.94 per barrel (-53.9% y/y), down from June's high of $60.07. Yesterday, prices held at $45.00 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 $42.64 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices fell w/w to $48.59 per barrel and were $50.11 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased last week to $2.80 per mmbtu (-27.9% y/y) and were $2.85 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 5.4% y/y while demand for all petroleum products rose 3.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 1.3% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 8.7% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) grew 2.1% y/y during the last four weeks, less than half the growth logged in June.

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 08/10/15 08/03/15 07/27/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.63 2.69 2.75 -25.0 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 44.94 47.91 49.26 -53.9 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.80 2.85 2.87 -27.9 4.37 3.73 2.7
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