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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Ease; Natural Gas Remains Firm
by Tom Moeller  September 13, 2016

Regular gasoline prices fell to $2.20 per gallon (-7.3% y/y) last week following  an easing to $2.23 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 was steady at $2.12 per gallon.

WTI crude oil costs increased slightly to $45.96 per barrel last week (1.8% y/y) from $45.11 per barrel. Prices have been trending sideways since May and remained up from February's daily low of $26.21 per barrel. Yesterday, prices were $46.29 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to $47.51 per barrel last week, then were $47.82 yesterday.

Prices for natural gas eased to $2.85 per mmbtu (+5.2% y/y) last week, but increased to $2.99 yesterday, the highest level since May 2015.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 3.2% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 2.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 6.2% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 5.0% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) gained 1.8% 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 09/12/16 09/05/16 08/29/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.20 2.23 2.24 -7.3 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.96 45.11 47.22 1.8 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.85 2.91 2.79 5.2 2.62 4.37 3.73
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