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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Continue Higher
by Tom Moeller  April 15, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline increased to $3.65 last week, up 3.1% y/y. Prices remained below the $3.78 per gallon peak reached in February of last year. Haver Analytics constructs seasonal factors to account for seasonal volatility. The adjusted price rose to $3.44 per gallon and made up the prior week's decline.

The per barrel cost of WTI crude oil increased last week to $102.75 (10.0% y/y) but remained below the $108.67 high in early September. Yesterday, prices increased further to $104.05 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices improved last week to $106.39 per barrel (2.6% y/y) and yesterday were $108.44 per barrel.

Natural gas prices were fairly stable during the first week of April at $4.45 per mmbtu (11.5% y/y).

The demand for all petroleum products was roughly unchanged y/y last week. Gasoline demand increased 4.4% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, declined 30.7% y/y while distillate demand fell 1.2% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products fell 2.3% 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 04/14/14 04/07/14 03/31/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.65 3.60 3.58 3.1 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 102.75 100.46 100.66 10.0 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA) -- 4.45 4.46 11.5 3.73 2.75 3.99
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