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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Decline; Crude Oil Nudges Up
by Tom Moeller  December 1, 2015

Gasoline prices at the pump declined last week to $2.06 per gallon, down 3 cents from the prior week. Prices were down 25.9% y/y and roughly equaled the January low of $2.04. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.19 per gallon. Moving the other way, the spot market gasoline price increased to $1.43 per gallon (-33.1% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs nudged up to $41.23 (-43.0% y/y). Prices reached $107.23 in June 2014. Yesterday, prices improved slightly to $41.65 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased w/w to $43.63 per barrel and were $43.73 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased last week to $2.10 per mmbtu (-49.5% y/y) and were $2.09 yesterday.

Gasoline demand eased 0.2% y/y last week but demand for all petroleum products declined 1.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 5.0% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products rose 10.4% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 1.5% 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 11/30/15 11/23/15 11/16/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.06 2.09 2.18 -25.9 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 41.23 40.62 42.70 -43.0 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.10 2.12 2.07 -49.5 4.37 3.73 2.75
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