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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Change Little; Crude Oil Costs Ease Further
by Carol Stone, CBE  August 22, 2017

Regular gasoline prices edged down 2 cents in the week ended August 21 to $2.36 per gallon (7.6% y/y), remaining below the recent high of $2.45 per gallon in late-April. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price slipped to $2.20 per gallon, thus well down from a high of $2.71 in early-January.

WTI crude oil prices dropped to $47.51 per barrel last week (up just 0.7% y/y) and remained down from $53.18 in early-April. Prices were down further to $47.35 yesterday. Brent crude oil prices eased to $51.11 per barrel last week, then firmed to $51.64 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to $2.91/mmbtu last week (7.9% y/y) and were $2.94 yesterday.

In the week ended August 11, gasoline demand was down 2.5% y/y, while total petroleum product demand was up 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 0.7% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 4.4% 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 08/21/17 08/14/17 08/07/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.36 2.38 2.38 7.6 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 47.51 49.10 49.52 0.7 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.91 2.83 2.78 7.9 2.49 2.62 4.37
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