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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Unchanged, While Crude Oil Prices Continue Upward
by Gerald D. Cohen  May 8, 2018

Retail gasoline prices were unchanged at $2.85 per gallon yesterday (19.9% year-on-year) remaining at the highest price level since November 2014. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price was also unchanged at $2.74 per gallon, the highest level since mid-February.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to an average of $68.38 per barrel last week, up 44.8% y/y, from $67.92 per barrel. Prices increased further yesterday to $70.73 per barrel, breaking the $70 mark for the first time since November 2014. Brent crude oil prices declined to an average of $74.42 per barrel last week and were $74.75 on Friday.

Natural gas prices eased to an average of $2.71/mmbtu last week (-12.7% y/y), and remained at that level yesterday. Prices have been hovering around $2.70 for the last three months.

In the four-weeks ending April 27, gasoline demand edged increased 1.2% y/y, while total petroleum product demand rose 2.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 1.3% y/y in the week ending April 27, while inventories of all petroleum products dropped 8.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries decreased 1.4% y/y in the last four weeks.

This data is reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 05/07/18 04/30/18 04/23/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.85 2.85 2.80 19.9 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.38 67.92 67.55 44.8 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.71 2.77 2.80 -12.7 2.96 2.49 2.62
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