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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Under Pressure Due to Excess Supply
by Tom Moeller  March 31, 2015

Gasoline prices dipped a penny last week to $2.45 cents per gallon and remained down by roughly one-third versus a year ago. Prices remained well below the $3.70 per gallon peak last June. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell last week to $2.40 per gallon.

A supply-demand imbalance are putting fuel prices under downward pressure. Gasoline inventories grew 7.5% y/y while inventories of crude oil & petroleum products overall increased 9.2% y/y. Gasoline demand edged 0.4% higher y/y while the demand for all petroleum products improved 2.9% y/y.

For the week ended March 27, WTI crude oil prices rebounded to an average $48.79 per barrel (-51.5% y/y). Yesterday, prices held steady at $48.68 per barrel. These prices compare to a June peak of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, improved to $48.23 per barrel last week. Brent crude oil prices gained last week to $55.01 per barrel (-48.4% y/y) but fell back to $53.99 yesterday.

Natural gas prices edged down to $2.71 (-38.5% y/y) per mmbtu during the week ended March 27. Prices were lower at $2.61 yesterday.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 03/30/15 03/23/15 03/16/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.45 2.46 2.45 -31.6 3.36 3.51 3.62
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 48.79 44.39 47.69 -51.5 93.63 97.95 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.71 2.78 2.75 -38.5 4.37 3.73 2.7
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