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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  April 17, 2018

Retail gasoline prices rebounded to $2.75 per gallon last week (12.8% y/y) following the prior week's one penny drop to $2.69. It was the highest price level since late-July 2015. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose one cent to $2.70 per gallon, the highest level since late-February.

WTI crude oil prices increased sharply to $66.04 per barrel last week, up 24.2% y/y. It was the highest price since December 2014. Prices rose yesterday to $66.22 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to $71.26 per barrel last week and were $71.46 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped to $2.71/mmbtu (-11.0% y/y) last week, and were $2.82/mmbtu yesterday.

In the week ended April 6, gasoline demand increased 0.6% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 5.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 1.2% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 8.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 3.6% 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 04/16/18 04/09/18 04/02/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.75 2.69 2.70 12.8 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 66.04 63.08 65.03 24.2 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.71 2.75 2.64 -11.0 2.96 2.49 2.62
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