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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  August 21, 2018

Retail gasoline prices fell to $2.82 per gallon last week from $2.84 during the prior week. Despite recent declines, prices remained up 19.5% y/y. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell to $2.76 per gallon, but remained up versus $2.60 late last year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell to $66.13 per barrel (+39.2% y/y) last week from $67.91 in the previous week. WTI prices remained lower than the $73.71 peak early in July. Brent crude oil prices fell to $69.82 per barrel last week (+38.0% y/y) from a high of $78.75 three months ago.

Natural gas prices improved last week to $2.97/mmbtu (2.2% y/y), the highest level since early-February.

In the four-weeks ending August 10, gasoline demand fell 1.0% y/y; total petroleum product demand declined 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 0.9% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products fell 4.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 0.7% 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 08/20/18 08/13/18 08/06/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.82 2.84 2.85 19.5 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 66.13 67.91 69.46 39.2 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.97 2.93 2.80 2.2 2.96 2.49 2.62
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