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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  January 18, 2017

Energy prices notched lower last week. Regular gasoline prices slipped to $2.36 per gallon (+23.2% y/y) from $2.39 per gallon in the prior week. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in these pump prices. Weakness in gasoline demand generally leads to lower prices at this time of year. The seasonally adjusted price was little changed $2.70 per gallon and remained near the highest level since December 2014.

Crude oil prices eased as well. WTI crude oil prices of $52.08 per barrel (+70.3% y/y) last week compared to $53.34 during the week prior. Prices remained near the highest level since July 2015.

Natural gas prices declined to $3.26 per mmbtu last week (+40.6% y/y) from $3.35.

Last week, gasoline demand improved 0.7% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products rose 1.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories remained unchanged y/y, and inventories of all petroleum products increased 2.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.2% 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 01/16/17 01/09/17 01/02/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.36 2.39 2.38 23.2 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 52.08 53.34 53.59 70.3 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.26 3.35 3.67 40.6 2.49 2.62 4.37
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