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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices are Little Changed; Crude Oil Costs Decline
by Tom Moeller  July 19, 2016

Regular gasoline prices eased to $2.23 per gallon last week (-20.4% y/y), down from $2.40 early last month, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices are down versus a 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices, and the adjusted price declined to $2.05 per gallon, the lowest level since early April.

WTI crude oil prices fell to $45.59 last week (-11.8% y/y) from $46.17 in the prior week. They remained up, however, versus February's daily low of $26.21 per barrel. Yesterday, prices eased to $45.24 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices dipped w/w to $47.13 per barrel, then were $47.08 yesterday.

Prices for natural gas dipped to $2.77 per mmbtu last week (-4.4% y/y) versus $2.80 in the week prior, then were $2.81 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 1.6% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products gained 1.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 10.1% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased a diminished 5.7% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) eased 0.8% y/y in 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 07/18/16 07/11/16 07/04/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.23 2.25 2.29 -20.4 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.59 46.17 48.19 -11.8 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.77 2.80 2.86 -4.4 2.62 4.37 3.73
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