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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Continue Upward
by Tom Moeller  May 1, 2018

Retail gasoline prices increased to $2.85 per gallon last week (18.0% y/y) following the prior week's five cent increase to $2.80 per gallon. It was the highest price level since November 2014. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose two cents to $2.74 per gallon, the highest level since late-February.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $67.92 per barrel last week, up 38.0% y/y, from $67.55 per barrel. It was the highest price since November 2014. Prices increased further yesterday to $68.56 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to $74.98 per barrel last week and were $75.92 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $2.77/mmbtu (-8.8% y/y), the highest level since early-February. The price eased to $2.68/mmbtu yesterday.

In the week ended April 20, gasoline demand increased 1.3% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 4.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 1.8% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 8.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 0.3% 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 04/30/18 04/23/18 04/16/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.85 2.80 2.75 18.0 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 67.92 67.55 66.03 38.0 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.77 2.80 2.71 -8.8 2.96 2.49 2.62
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