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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Reach 2011 Low
by Tom Moeller  October 21, 2014

The cost of a gallon of regular gasoline continued to fall sharply last week. At $3.12 per gallon (-7.1% y/y), the price was down from $3.21 during the prior week and was its least expensive since January 2011. To account for seasonal patterns, Haver Analytics constructs factors for adjustment of pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $3.14 per gallon from $3.20.

WTI crude oil prices dropped to an average $82.94 last week (-18.3% y/y) from $87.63 during the prior period. Yesterday prices were fairly stable at $82.71. The seasonally adjusted price generated by Haver declined to $85.03 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $85.03 per barrel (-22.8% y/y) and declined further to $84.19 yesterday.

Natural gas prices also fell last week to an average $3.82 per mmbtu (+1.4% y/y) and were $3.68 yesterday.

The demand for all petroleum products was roughly unchanged (1.6% y/y) in the week ended October 10. Demand remained 3.8% below its December 2013 peak. Gasoline demand improved 1.0% w/w but slipped 0.5% y/y. Demand was 3.3% below its August peak. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products gained 0.3% y/y but gasoline inventories were down 5.4% y/y and off 11.9% since early this year.

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 10/20/14 10/13/14 10/06/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 3.12 3.21 3.30 -7.1 3.51 3.62 3.52
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 82.94 87.63 91.44 -18.3 97.95 94.20 95.14
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.82 3.87 4.05 1.4 3.73 2.75 3.99
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