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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Weaken Further
by Tom Moeller  July 26, 2016

Regular gasoline prices declined to $2.18 per gallon last week (-20.5% y/y). Prices were down five cents from the week earlier and were 22 cents lower than early last month, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices are lower 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 $2.02 per gallon, the lowest level since mid-March.

WTI crude oil prices also moved lower to $44.75 last week (-9.2% y/y) from $45.58 in the prior week. They remained up, however, from February's daily low of $26.21 per barrel. Yesterday, prices eased to $43.13 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined w/w to $46.54 per barrel and were $44.74 yesterday.

Prices for natural gas were fairly steady w/w at $2.76 per mmbtu (-3.6% y/y), but they rose to $2.81 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 1.3% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products gained 1.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 11.4% 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 07/25/16 07/18/16 07/11/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.18 2.23 2.25 -20.5 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 44.75 45.58 46.17 -9.2 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.76 2.77 2.80 -3.6 2.62 4.37 3.73
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