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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  April 4, 2017

Regular gasoline prices improved to $2.36 per gallon last week (13.3% y/y), up versus three weeks of stability at $3.32 per gallon. 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 rose to $2.34 per gallon, but remained down from the $2.71 January high.

WTI crude oil prices recovered to $49.17 per barrel last week (31.5% y/y) following the prior week's decline to $47.57. Prices rose further to $50.24 yesterday. Prices remained lower than the $54.02 high in the third week of February. Brent crude oil prices rebounded to $52.20 per barrel last week and were $53.16 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased to $3.02/mmbtu last week (64.8% y/y), then were $3.05 yesterday. Prices were up versus the $2.53 low early last month.

Last week, gasoline demand declined 1.0% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 0.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 1.2% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 0.5% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 1.5% 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 04/03/17 03/27/17 03/20/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.36 2.32 2.32 13.3 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 49.17 47.57 48.23 31.5 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.02 2.96 2.95 64.8 2.49 2.62 4.37
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