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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  June 7, 2016

Regular gasoline prices increased to $2.38 per gallon last week (-14.4% y/y) following the prior week's rise to $2.34, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices have risen by one-third since mid-February and were at the highest level since early September. Prices remained down, however, 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 increased to $2.20 per gallon. Spot market gasoline prices eased to $1.59 and remained up from a low of $0.89 in early February.

WTI crude oil costs were little-changed at $48.98 per barrel last week (-17.9% y/y) after rising to $48.91 in the prior week. Yesterday, prices firmed to $49.69 per barrel, up from the February's daily low of $26.21 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased w/w to $48.91 per barrel, then were $48.94 yesterday.

Prices for natural gas spiked to $2.24 per mmbtu last week (-13.9% y/y), then rose further to $2.32 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 3.9% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products gained 3.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 8.3% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased a diminished 6.0% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) was unchanged 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 06/06/16 05/30/16 05/23/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.38 2.34 2.30 -14.4 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 48.98 48.91 48.01 -17.9 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.24 1.83 1.88 -13.9 2.62 4.37 3.73
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