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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Remain Under Pressure
by Tom Moeller  January 20, 2016

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline averaged $1.91 last week (-7.4% y/y), down from $2.00 in the prior week, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices, and the adjusted price fell to $2.20 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price fell to $1.03 per gallon (-22.9% y/y) as of last week.

WTI crude oil costs also fell sharply. Prices averaged $30.59 per barrel last week (-35.0% y/y). Yesterday's price of $28.46 was down from the daily high of $113.93 in April 2011. Brent crude oil prices fell w/w to $30.46 per barrel and were $28.72 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $2.32 last week (-24.3% y/y) and were $2.22 yesterday.

Gasoline demand declined 4.3% y/y last week and demand for all petroleum products fell 3.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories remained unchanged y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products rose 9.1% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 1.4% 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 01/18/16 01/11/16 01/04/16 Y/Y% 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 1.91 2.00 2.03 -7.4 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 30.59 34.64 36.97 -35.0 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.32 2.38 2.24 -24.2 2.62 4.37 3.73
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