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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Move Lower
by Tom Moeller  July 22, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline declined five cents to $3.59 last week (-2.4% y/y). Prices remained lower than the $3.78 per gallon peak reached in February of last year. To account for seasonal volatility, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted cost of gasoline fell five cents to $3.51 per gallon, down for the third straight week.

WTI crude oil prices declined last week to $101.96 per barrel (-4.7% y/y), the lowest level since early May. The seasonally adjusted price of $101.11 per barrel, generated by Haver Analytics, also was the lowest level in nine weeks but remained up sharply from $92.19 in early-May. Yesterday, prices improved to $104.59. Brent crude oil prices declined last week to $105.18 per barrel (-3.9% y/y) but yesterday were $106.16.

Natural gas prices declined sharply last week to $4.05 per mmbtu (+9.2% y/y), the lowest level since December. Prices fell further yesterday to $3.84.

The demand for all petroleum products declined 1.7% last week versus last year. Gasoline demand slipped 0.7% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 22.1% y/y while distillate demand fell 5.5% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products were roughly unchanged y/y and gasoline inventories fell 4.3% 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 07/21/14 07/14/14 07/07/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.59 3.64 3.68 -2.4 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 101.96 103.25 105.52 4.7 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 4.05 4.15 4.38 9.2 3.73 2.75 3.99
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