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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Increase While Crude Oil Costs Fall Sharply
by Tom Moeller  July 14, 2015

Gasoline prices increased last week to an average $2.83 per gallon at the pump (-22.0% y/y) and remained higher than the low of $2.04 late in January. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price moved one penny higher to $2.72 per gallon. They remained, however, below the cost at the pump since prices typically are stronger during the summer driving season. Spot market gasoline prices held w/w at $2.10 per gallon (-28.9% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs declined to an average $52.40 per barrel (-49.2% y/y) last week, down from last month's high of $60.07. Yesterday, prices held at $52.20 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, declined last week to $49.88 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices moved lower to $56.63 per barrel and were $57.63 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $2.72 per mmbtu last week (-34.4% y/y) and were $2.88 yesterday.

Gasoline demand improved 4.3% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 4.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories grew 1.7% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 8.2% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) grew 3-5% y/y during the last five weeks, up from little y/y change in January.

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 07/13/15 07/06/15 06/29/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.83 2.79 2.80 -22.0 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 52.40 57.92 60.01 -49.2 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.72 2.79 2.79 -34.4 4.37 3.73 2.7
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