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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Increase Slightly
by Tom Moeller  September 12, 2017

Regular gasoline prices at the pump rose to $2.69 per gallon last week (21.9% y/y), and added to the prior week's jump to the highest level since August 2015. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price rose to $2.57 per gallon, the highest level since January of this year.

WTI crude oil prices notched up to $48.59 per barrel last week (5.7% y/y) but remained lower than $53.18 in early-April. Prices eased yesterday to $48.07 per barrel. The 2-month futures contract price also slipped to $48.62. Brent crude oil prices increased to $53.56 per barrel last week, then were $53.78 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $2.88/mmbtu last week (+0.9% y/y) and were $2.85 yesterday.

In the week ended September 1, gasoline demand declined 1.0% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 0.5% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries held roughly steady y/y in the last four weeks, compared to sharp y/y improvement earlier this year.

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 09/11/17 09/04/17 08/28/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.69 2.68 2.40 21.9 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 48.59 46.67 47.71 5.7 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.88 2.89 2.96 0.9 2.49 2.62 4.37
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