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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Continue Strong
by Tom Moeller  August 7, 2018

Retail gasoline prices remained at $2.85 per gallon last week, up 16.5% from $2.45 at the end of last year. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price was $2.79 per gallon, up from $2.60 late last year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices improved to $69.01 per barrel last week from $68.80 the previous week and were up 39.4% from a year ago. WTI prices remained lower than the $71.79 peak at the end of June. Brent crude oil prices declined to $73.37 per barrel last week from $76.98 at the end of June.

Natural gas prices rose slightly last week to $2.80/mmbtu (0.8% y/y) from roughly $2.75 in the prior two weeks.

In the four-weeks ending July 27, gasoline demand eased 0.9% y/y; total petroleum product demand improved 0.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.4% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products fell 6.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 0.9% 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 08/06/18 07/30/18 07/23/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.85 2.85 2.83 19.9 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 69.01 68.80 68.96 39.4 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.80 2.75 2.74 0.8 2.96 2.49 2.62
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