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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Move Higher
by Tom Moeller  August 30, 2016

Regular gasoline prices increased to $2.24 per gallon (-10.9% y/y) last week following  a rise to $2.19 during the week prior, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices remained 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 rose to $2.12 per gallon.

WTI crude oil costs increased slightly to $47.22 per barrel last week (15.9% y/y) from $47.16 per barrel. Prices were at the highest level since early last month and were higher than February's daily low of $26.21 per barrel. Yesterday, prices were $46.98 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices were little changed at $48.65 per barrel last week and improved to $49.66 yesterday.

Prices for natural gas rose to $2.79 per mmbtu (4.1% y/y) last week and were $2.95 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 1.8% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 2.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 8.5% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 5.9% 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 08/29/16 08/22/16 08/15/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.24 2.19 2.15 -10.9 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 47.22 47.16 43.10 15.9 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.79 2.70 2.74 4.1 2.62 4.37 3.73
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