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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Weaken to 2009 Low
by Tom Moeller  February 2, 2016

Gasoline prices continued to decline last week and reached a nine year low. The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to an average $1.82 (-11.9% y/y), down from $1.86 in the prior week, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The price compares to a 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices, and the adjusted price fell to $2.07 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price fell to $1.05 per gallon (-22.5% y/y) as of last week.

WTI crude oil costs rose slightly and averaged $31.80 per barrel last week (-29.8% y/y). Yesterday's price of $31.62 was down from Friday's high of $33.62, and remained below the peak of $113.93 in April 2011. Brent crude oil prices also rose w/w to $33.22 per barrel versus the prior week's low of $29.37. Yesterday's price of $34.12 was down from Friday's high of $35.83.

Natural gas prices held steady last week at $2.20 per mmbtu (-23.4% y/y). Prices were $2.18 yesterday.

Gasoline demand declined 2.5% y/y last week and demand for all petroleum products fell 1.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 4.2% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 9.1% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 3.8% 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 02/01/16 01 /25/16 01/18/16 Y/Y% 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 1.82 1.86 1.91 -11.9 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 31.80 29.16 30.59 -29.8 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.20 2.20 2.32 -23.4 2.62 4.37 3.73
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