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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue Downward
by Tom Moeller  February 17, 2016

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell last week to an average $1.72 (-24.2% y/y), down from $1.76 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 $1.85 per gallon. The spot market gasoline price improved to $0.95 per gallon (-39.6% y/y) as of last week, up 6 cents from a week earlier.

WTI crude oil costs declined to $28.15 per barrel last week (-45.0% y/y). Yesterday's price of $29.04 was well below the peak of $113.93 in April 2011. Brent crude oil prices fell w/w to $32.32 per barrel. Yesterday's price of $32.19 was up from Wednesday's low of $30.95.

Prices for natural gas increased last week to $2.14 per mmbtu (-21.7% y/y), but fell sharply to $1.92 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 2.6% y/y while demand for all petroleum products rose 0.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 5.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products gained 8.8% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) increased 2.7% 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 02/16/16 02/08/16 02/01/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 1.72 1.76 1.82 -24.2 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 28.15 31.28 31.81 -45.0 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.14 2.08 2.20 -21.7 2.62 4.37 3.73
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