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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Are on the Upswing
by Tom Moeller  August 8, 2017

Regular gasoline prices rose to $2.38 per gallon last week (10.6% y/y) from $2.35 in the prior week. They remained down, however, from the high of $2.45 per gallon in late-April. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price increased to $2.23 per gallon, but remained lower than the high of $2.71 in early-January.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $49.52 per barrel last week (21.3% y/y), but remained down from $53.18 in early-April. Prices were $49.39 yesterday. Brent crude oil prices increased to $52.23 per barrel last week, then held at $52.25 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.78/mmbtu last week (-2.7% y/y) and were $2.75 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand was little changed y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 1.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 2.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 3.2% 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 08/07/17 07/31/17 07/24/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.38 2.35 2.31 10.6 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 49.52 48.30 46.42 21.3 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.78 2.94 3.07 -2.7 2.49 2.62 4.37
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