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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Rise; Natural Gas Falls Further
by Tom Moeller  October 14, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump inched up last week to $2.34 per gallon (-27.1% y/y) but remained below $2.84 in mid-June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price increased to $2.31 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price fell sharply to $1.31 per gallon (-43.4% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs increased to $48.34 (-44.8% y/y) compared to $45.00 during the prior week. They remained down from a $107.23 high in June 2014. Prices declined yesterday to $46.66 per barrel. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, increased to $45.42 last week. Brent crude oil prices increased w/w to $51.15 per barrel but pulled back to $49.68 yesterday.

Natural gas prices continued lower last week to $2.39 per mmbtu (-38.3% y/y), the lowest price since June 2012, and were $2.43 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 4.0% y/y last week but demand for all petroleum products slipped 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 6.8% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products rose 9.3% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) gained 0.7% 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 10/13/05 10/5/15 09/28/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.34 2.32 2.32 -27.1 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 48.34 45.00 45.57 -44.8 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.39 2.45 2.57 -38.3 4.37 3.73 2.75
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