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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 15, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump continued to fall last week and averaged $2.38 per gallon (-30.3% y/y). That was down 6 cents from a week earlier and below $2.84 in mid-June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell 5 cents w/w to $2.56 per gallon. Spot market gasoline prices improved w/w to $1.50 per gallon (-44.9% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs eased to $45.16 per barrel for the week (-51.1% y/y), down from $107.23 in May 2014. As of yesterday, prices declined further to $44.00 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, declined last week to $42.64 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined w/w to $47.60 per barrel and were $47.38 yesterday.

Natural gas prices held steady last week at $2.71 per mmbtu (-30.5% y/y) and were $2.70 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 3.8% y/y last week while demand for all petroleum products rose 4.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 1.0% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 8.9% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) grew 0.3% y/y during the last four weeks.

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 09/14/15 09/07/15 08/31/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.38 2.44 2.51 -30.3 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.16 46.73 40.73 -51.1 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.71 2.69 2.68 -30.5 4.37 3.73 2.7
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