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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Move Higher
by Tom Moeller  February 19, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline prices increased to $3.38 (-9.8% y/y) last week but remained down versus the $3.78 per gallon peak reached in February of last year. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility and the adjusted price rose last week to $3.56 per gallon, its highest level since late December.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil jumped last week to $100.22 (3.4% y/y) but remained down from the $108.67 high in early September. Yesterday, prices rose further to $102.43. Brent crude oil prices improved last week to $109.00 per barrel (-7.7% y/y) and yesterday rose further to $110.16 per barrel.

Severely cold temperatures around the U.S. continued to strengthen natural gas prices. Last week's average of $6.47 per mmbtu roughly doubled last year's level and was the highest since January 2010. Yesterday, prices fell back to $5.80 per mmbtu.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 3.0% y/y last week. Gasoline demand fell 1.0% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, improved 1.0% y/y while distillate demand jumped rose 8.6% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 3.4% y/y.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and the petroleum demand and inventory figures are in OILWKLY

Weekly Energy Prices 02/17/14 02/10/14 02/03/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.38 3.31 3.29 -9.8 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 100.22 97.78 97.29 3.4 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) 6.47 6.39 5.30 98.3 3.73 2.75 3.99
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