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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Price Steady; Crude Oil Falls Sharply
by Tom Moeller  July 17, 2018

Retail gasoline prices edged up to $2.87 per gallon last week (+25.8% y/y) from $2.86 per gallon during the prior week. Prices have ranged between $2.80 and $2.96 since the middle of April. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price was $2.78 per gallon, little changed since mid-April.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices decreased to an average of $71.94 (+58.1% y/y) per barrel last week from the recent high of $73.71. Yesterday, prices fell sharply to $68.06 per barrel, the lowest price since late-June. Brent crude oil prices eased to an average of $76.14 per barrel last week and were $72.22 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to an average of $2.84/mmbtu last week (-3.9% y/y) from $2.86/mmbtu and were at the lowest level since early-May. Prices were $2.74 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending July 6, gasoline demand declined 1.7% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 1.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 1.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 7.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries was up 3.5% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are 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 07/16/18 07/09/18 07/02/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.87 2.86 2.84 25.8 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 71.94 73.71 71.79 58.1 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.84 2.86 2.95 -3.9 2.96 2.49 2.62
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