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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Remain Firm; Crude Oil Costs Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  October 3, 2017

Retail gasoline prices were little-changed last week at $2.57 per gallon (14.3% y/y) and remained down from the $2.69 high early last month. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price held steady at $2.53 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices strengthened to $51.76 per barrel last week (11.1% y/y), the highest level early-April. Prices eased yesterday to $50.58 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $58.02 per barrel last week, then declined to $56.07 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.94/mmbtu last week (-1.1% y/y) and were $2.81 yesterday.

In the week ended September 22, gasoline demand rose 0.6% y/y, while total petroleum product demand gained 1.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 10.0% 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 10/02/17 09/25/17 09/18/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.57 2.58 2.63 14.3 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 51.76 50.14 49.07 11.1 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.94 3.09 2.95 -1.1 2.49 2.62 4.37
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