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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Ease; Crude Oil Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  September 19, 2017

Regular gasoline prices at the pump fell to $2.63 per gallon last week (+18.4% y/y) following two weeks at a higher level. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price slipped to $2.56 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices increased to $49.07 per barrel last week (10.7% y/y) but remained lower than $53.18 in early-April. Prices ticked up yesterday to $49.91 per barrel. The 2-month futures contract price was higher a $50.35. Brent crude oil prices increased to $54.73 per barrel last week, then rose to $55.46 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose to $2.95/mmbtu last week (-1.5% y/y) and were $3.10 yesterday.

In the week ended September 8, gasoline demand gained 0.2% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 0.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.5% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 4.8% 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 09/18/17 09/11/17 09/04/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.63 2.69 2.68 18.4 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 49.07 48.58 46.67 10.7 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.95 2.88 2.89 -1.5 2.49 2.62 4.37
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