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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Mixed in Latest Week
by Carol Stone, CBE  November 22, 2016

Energy product prices were mixed last week. Regular gasoline prices edged down 3 cents per gallon to $2.155 (+2.9% y/y), their lowest level since mid-August. Prices remained down versus a 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in these pump prices. The adjusted price last week was virtually unchanged at $2.29 per gallon.

WTI crude oil prices last week reversed much of their prior week's decline, as they rose to $45.17 a barrel (+11.2% y/y) from $44.64 the week before. Yesterday, prices moved on upward, reaching $47.49. Brent crude oil prices climbed from $45.73 per barrel in the week ended November 11 to $46.18 last week, then rose somewhat more yesterday to $46.86.

Natural gas prices rose to $2.43/mmbtu last week (+14.6% y/y), exactly reversing the prior week's decline. These prices have clearly stopped their recent four-week fall, and yesterday reached $2.80.

Last week, gasoline demand rose 3.4% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products went down 0.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 3.5% y/y, and inventories of all petroleum products increased 3.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries eased 0.2% 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 11/21/16 11/14/16 11/07/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.155 2.184 2.233 2.9 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.17 44.63 45.51 11.2 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.43 2.20 2.43 14.6 2.62 4.37 3.73
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