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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Ease; Crude Oil Slides
by Tom Moeller  March 14, 2017

Regular gasoline prices eased to $2.32 per gallon (+18.5% y/y) last week compared to $2.34 per gallon during the prior week. Prices remained 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 eased to $2.33 per gallon from $2.35 in the prior week and was lower than the $2.71 January high.

WTI crude oil prices fell sharply last week, and remained at $48.40 per barrel yesterday. Prices had fallen to $50.78 (+34.7% y/y) during all of last week from $53.56 in the prior week. Brent crude oil prices fell to $53.66 per barrel last week, moving lower to $51.41 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased to $3.06/mmbtu yesterday, the highest level since early February. During all of last week, prices rose to $2.75, up by nearly three-quarters y/y.

Last week, gasoline demand declined 6.1% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 1.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories eased 0.5% y/y, and inventories of all petroleum products increased 1.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 2.2% 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 03/13/17 03/06/17 02/27/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.32 2.34 2.31 18.5 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 50.78 53.56 54.02 34.7 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.75 2.53 2.54 70.7 2.49 2.62 4.37
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