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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  January 17, 2018

Retail gasoline prices rose to $2.56 per gallon (8.4% y/y) last week, the highest level in one month. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The price increased sharply to $2.73 per gallon from $2.65.

WTI crude oil prices increased to $63.26 (21.5% y/y) per barrel last week, the highest point since early-December 2014. Prices rose further yesterday to $63.73 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $69.60 per barrel last week and were little changed yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined last week to $3.22/mmbtu (-1.0% y/y) but rose to $5.09/mmbtu yesterday.

In the week ended January 5, gasoline demand rose 2.5% y/y, while total petroleum product demand strengthened 5.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 4.3% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 6.3% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 4.0% 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 1/15/18 1/8/18 1/1/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.56 2.52 2.52 8.4 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 63.26 61.36 59.87 21.5 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.22 5.21 3.00 -1.0 2.96 2.49 2.62
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