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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Remain Stable; Crude Oil Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 9, 2014

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline held steady last week at $3.46. It's been near that level for four weeks but was off 3.6% y/y. To account for seasonal patterns, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The adjusted price slipped to $3.33 per gallon, the lowest level since May 2013.

WTI crude oil prices reversed the prior week's increase and fell to $94.05 per barrel (-13.5% y/y), the lowest level since late November. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $94.85 per barrel. Yesterday, prices fell to $92.66. Brent crude oil prices edged up to $100.72 per barrel last week (-12.8% y/y) and were $99.13 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped last week and averaged $3.92 per mmbtu (+7.5% y/y), the highest level since mid-July. Yesterday, prices slipped to $3.85.

The demand for all petroleum products increased 2.7% in the week ended August 29 versus a year earlier. Gasoline demand slipped 0.7% y/y. Residual fuel oil needs, used for heating, fell 32.1% y/y while distillate demand improved 5.1% y/y. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products eased 0.1% y/y and gasoline inventories were down 2.8% 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 09/08/14 09/01/14 08/25/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.46 3.46 3.45 -3.6 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 94.05 96.26 94.95 -13.5 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.92 3.98 3.83 7.5 3.73 2.75 3.99
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