According to the EIA, as of October 2014, dry natural gas production was 72.2 bcf/d, which is 6.8% higher than it was in October 2013.
Natural gas prices capped the year with a first annual drop since 2011, falling 6.6%. It’s the lowest in almost two years.
Natural gas stocks dropped 26 bcf in the week ending December 26. Analysts were expecting a drop between 35 bcf and 39 bcf.
Analysts expected a natural gas inventory draw of 35-39 billion cubic feet (or bcf) last week.
The Bank of Russia has been digging into reserves in an attempt to defend the depreciating currency. These reserves shrunk by about 20% this year.
In addition to the recent interest rate hike, Putin may need to exercise capital control measures in order to cushion Russia’s depreciating ruble.
Russia’s attempt to cushion the depreciating ruble by inflating interest rates hasn’t been successful. Russians are still panic-stricken about the economy.
It all started with the imposition of sanctions by the West on Russia in retaliation to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
According to Suhail Al-Mazrouei, the UAE energy minister, OPEC won’t cut its output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel.
The global financial crisis in 2008 had wiped out 7.8% of Russia’s gross domestic product (or GDP) the following year amid a tumble in oil prices.
Russia’s economy, which is already hurting from Western sanctions and the oil price drop, may not be able to bear with such high rates for long.
To defuse the currency crisis and shore up the crashing ruble, Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate from 10.5% to 17% on December 16.
The depreciating ruble, along with Western sanctions, has fueled inflation further. The weakening of the ruble has made imports expensive.
The GDP in Russia contracted for the first time since 2009 in November 2014. Consequently, the Russian ruble fell by about 14% against the dollar.
The three main issues dragging Russia to recession-like conditions are the ruble’s depreciation, declining export revenues from oil, and rampant inflation.
After a year with relatively less drama, European politics are likely to return to center stage next year.
The European Central Bank promised to pull out all the stops to counter the issues facing the area, but its stimulus measures have proven inadequate.
The Dallas Fed conducts its Texas Manufacturing Survey monthly. The survey’s similar to other regional Fed surveys, like the Empire State Survey.
Pending home sales are an indicator of the real estate market’s health. Recently, the market has been characterized by limited supply.
The US Department of the Treasury reduced the weekly auction amount for four-week, or one-month, Treasury bills, or T-bills, from last week.