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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Backpedal
by Tom Moeller  November 21, 2017

Retail gasoline prices eased last week to $2.57 per gallon (+19.2% y/y) following an increase to $2.59. It remained near the highest level since early-October. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. Since prices typically weaken this time of year, the seasonally adjusted gasoline pump price gained two cents to $2.73 per gallon, the highest level since December 2014.

WTI crude oil prices slipped to $55.89 per barrel last week (+23.7% y/y) from the recent high of $57.05 per barrel. Prices firmed to $56.09 per barrel yesterday. Brent crude oil prices declined to $61.60 per barrel last week and were $61.34 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell last week to $3.08/mmbtu (+26.8% y/y y/y) and were fairly stable yesterday.

In the week ended November 10, gasoline demand rose 1.6% y/y, while total petroleum product improved 0.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 5.1% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 5.3% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 3.2% 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 11/20/17 11/13/17 11/06/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.57 2.59 2.56 19.2 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 55.89 57.05 54.59 23.7 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.08 3.12 2.74 26.8 2.49 2.62 4.37
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