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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Weak
by Tom Moeller  November 3, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump slipped last week to $2.22 per gallon, off just a penny from the prior week. While prices were down 25.7% y/y, they were 8.8% above the January low of $2.04. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price improved to $2.29 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price of $1.30 per gallon was down 43.6% y/y.

Natural gas prices extended their recent decline last week and fell to $2.07 per mmbtu (-43.0% y/y), the lowest price since April 2012. They fell further to $1.92 yesterday.

WTI crude oil costs were little-changed at $45.00 (-44.6% y/y) but remained down from a $107.23 high in June 2014. Prices improved yesterday to $46.14 per barrel. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, also held steady w/w at $45.28. Brent crude oil prices improved slightly w/w to $47.15 per barrel and rose further to $47.91 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 3.4% y/y last week and demand for all petroleum products gained 1.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 7.6% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products rose 9.5% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 0.9% y/y during the last four weeks.

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 11/02/15 10/26/15 10/19/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.22 2.23 2.28 -25.7 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.00 45.16 46.82 -44.6 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.07 2.37 2.44 -43.0 4.37 3.73 2.75
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