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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip; Crude Oil Improves
by Tom Moeller  February 22, 2017

Regular gasoline prices of $2.30 per gallon (+33.1% y/y) last week were down a penny from the prior week. The February average of $2.30 compared to $2.35 per gallon in January. Prices were lower than the 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price declined to $2.44 per gallon from $2.50 in the prior week and was lower than the $2.71 January high.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $53.21 per barrel (+77.2% y/y) last week from $52.88 in the prior week. Yesterday, prices were $54.06 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices improved to $55.75 per barrel last week, moving to $55.68 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell to $2.85/mmbtu last week (+51.9% y/y). They fell to $2.52 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand declined 5.3% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 2.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories remained unchanged y/y, and inventories of all petroleum products increased 2.5% 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 02/20/17 02/13/17 02/06/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.30 2.31 2.29 33.1 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 53.21 52.88 53.32 77.2 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.85 3.01 3.08 51.9 2.49 2.62 4.37
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