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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  January 3, 2018

Retail gasoline prices increased to $2.52 per gallon (6.0% y/y) last week, the highest level since late November. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. At $2.64 per gallon, the seasonally adjusted gasoline pump price also was the highest level in seven weeks.

WTI crude oil prices strengthened to $59.86 (11.7% y/y) per barrel last week, the highest level since June 2015. Prices rose further yesterday to $60.37 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $66.04 per barrel last week and were $66.65 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week to $3.00/mmbtu (-18.3% y/y) and were $3.04 yesterday.

In the week ended December 22, gasoline demand rose 2.0% y/y, while total petroleum product demand strengthened 3.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 0.5% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 6.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 3.8% 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 1/1/18 12/25/17 12/18/17 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.52 2.47 2.45 6.0 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 59.86 57.87 57.18 11.7 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.00 2.67 2.72 -18.3 2.96 2.49 2.62
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