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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Continue To Track Lower
by Tom Moeller  November 24, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump fell last week to $2.09 per gallon, down 9 cents from the prior week. Prices were down 25.8% y/y, but remained slightly above the January low of $2.04. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.21 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price fell to $1.29 per gallon and roughly equaled the low set four weeks ago.

WTI crude oil costs declined to $40.82 (-45.8% y/y), roughly equaling the late-August low of $40.73. Prices reached $107.23 in June 2014. Prices improved yesterday to $41.75 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices fell w/w to $41.54 per barrel but recovered to $43.70 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week to $2.12 per mmbtu (-51.0% y/y), the highest level in four weeks, and rose further to $2.14 yesterday.

Gasoline demand improved 2.0% y/y last week but demand for all petroleum products slipped 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 4.7% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products rose 10.0% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 1.6% 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 11/23/15 11/16/15 11/09/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.09 2.18 2.24 -25.8 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 40.82 42.70 45.98 -45.8 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.12 2.07 2.02 -51.0 4.37 3.73 2.75
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