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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey lifted gasoline futures to $1.71 per gallon yesterday, up 13 cents from $1.58 per gallon one week earlier. For the week ended August 28, regular gasoline prices at the pump rebounded four cents to $2.40 per gallon (7.2% y/y), but remained below the recent 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 rose to $2.27 per gallon from $2.20 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices improved to $47.75 per barrel last week (1.1% y/y) but remained down from $53.18 in early-April. Prices eased to $46.57 yesterday. Brent crude oil prices gained to $52.11 per barrel last week, then were $51.93 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased to $2.96/mmbtu last week (6.1% y/y) and were $2.92 yesterday.

In the week ended August 18, gasoline demand slipped 0.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 1.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 1.2% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 4.5% 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 08/28/17 08/21/17 08/14/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.40 2.36 2.38 7.2 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 47.75 47.52 49.10 1.1 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.96 2.91 2.83 6.1 2.49 2.62 4.37
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