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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Stable but Elevated in July
by Sandy Batten  July 31, 2018

Retail gasoline prices edged up to $2.85 per gallon in the last week of July from $2.83 the previous week. Compared with a year ago, retail gasoline prices are up 21.0% but have been relatively flat over the past month. Gasoline prices exhibit marked seasonal patterns. Haver Analytics estimates factors to adjust for this seasonal variation. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price was $2.78 per gallon at the end of July, up from $2.76 a week earlier and $2.72 at the end of June.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell slightly to $68.80 per barrel at the end of July from $68.96 the previous week and were up 42.4% from a year ago. WTI prices generally fell during July from $71.79 at the end of June. Brent crude oil prices also generally declined during July to $73.80 per barrel at the end of July from $76.98 at the end of June.

Natural gas prices were little changed in the last week of July, edging up $2.75/mmbtu from $2.74 the previous week. However, for the entire month, prices eased from $2.95 at the end of June. The price at the end of July was 6.3% lower than a year earlier.

In the four-weeks ending July 20, gasoline demand eased 0.5% y/y; total petroleum product demand fell 0.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories rebuilt in July, rising 1.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 6.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.5% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 07/30/18 07/23/18 07/16/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.85 2.83 2.87 21.0 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.80 68.96 71.94 42.4 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.75 2.74 2.84 -6.3 2.96 2.49 2.62
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