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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Touch New Lows
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump fell last week to $2.18 per gallon, down 6 cents from the prior week. Prices were down 24.7% y/y, but remained 6.9% above the January low of $2.04. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.29 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price fell to $1.42 per gallon, up off the low of $1.28 two weeks earlier.

WTI crude oil costs declined to $42.70 (-44.2% y/y), up slightly from the late-August low of $40.73. Prices reached $107.23 in June 2014. Prices declined yesterday to $41.74 per barrel. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, declined w/w to $43.72. Brent crude oil prices fell w/w to $44.70 per barrel but retreated to $40.28 yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved last week to $2.07 per mmbtu (-49.8% y/y) and rose further to $2.14 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 3.3% y/y last week and demand for all petroleum products gained 1.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 4.8% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products rose 10.0% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 1.6% 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 11/16/15 11/09/15 11/02/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.18 2.24 2.22 -24.7 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 42.70 45.98 44.99 -44.2 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.07 2.02 2.07 -49.8 4.37 3.73 2.75
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