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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Ease; Natural Gas Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  October 16, 2018

Gasoline prices slipped to an average $2.88 per gallon last week (+15.7% y/y), down two cents from the prior week. Prices have meandered sideways since May. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price held steady at $2.85 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices eased to $72.94 per barrel (+43.7% y/y) from its five-year high of $75.11. Yesterday, the price declined to $71.78. Brent crude oil prices declined to $83.05 (+47.7% y/y) per barrel last week from $85.44. The price was $80.91 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose sharply to $3.34/mmbtu (14.3% y/y) last week. Prices were up from the low of $2.52 in February.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand decreased 2.6% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 6.7% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 2.4% y/y as residual fuel oil inventories fell 14.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries strengthened 4.9% 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 10/15/18 10/08/18 10/01/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.88 2.90 2.87 15.7 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 72.94 75.11 72.70 43.7 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.34 3.23 3.07 14.3 2.96 2.49 2.62
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