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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  March 27, 2018

Retail gasoline prices increased to $2.65 per gallon last week (14.4% y/y) and moved to the highest level since early-September. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.68 per gallon, the highest level in four weeks.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $64.15 per barrel last week and were up by roughly one-third y/y. Prices remained below the early-February high of $65.22 per barrel. Prices rose to $65.55 per barrel yesterday. Brent crude oil prices increased to $67.40 per barrel last week and were $68.81 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped to $2.63/mmbtu (-11.1% y/y) last week compared to $2.69/mmbtu during the prior week and were $2.58/mmbtu yesterday.

In the week ended March 16, gasoline demand increased 1.9% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 4.9% y/y. Gasoline inventories eased 0.2% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 9.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 4.1% 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 03/26/18 03/19/18 03/12/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.65 2.60 2.56 14.4 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 64.15 61.30 61.66 34.9 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.63 2.69 2.71 -11.1 2.96 2.49 2.62
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