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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Fall
by Tom Moeller  October 30, 2018

Gasoline prices declined three cents last week to an average $2.81 per gallon (+13.0% y/y). It was the lowest price since late-April. Prices peaked at $2.90 earlier in the month. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price was unchanged at $2.84 per gallon.

Also declining last week were West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to $67.50 per barrel (+23.4% y/y) from $70.27 in the prior week. It was the third consecutive week of decline from the peak of $75.11 early in October and the lowest price since mid-August. Yesterday, the price eased to $67.04. Brent crude oil prices declined to $78.23 per barrel (+33.5% y/y) last week from $80.41. The price was $77.56 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose last week to $3.31/mmbtu (14.5% y/y) and recovered the prior week's decline. Prices remained up from the low of $2.52 in February. The price was $3.20 yesterday.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand fell 1.3% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 3.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 5.7% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 1.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 2.6% 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 10/29/18 10/22/18 10/15/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.81 2.84 2.88 13.0 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 67.50 70.27 72.95 23.4 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.31 3.26 3.30 14.5 2.96 2.49 2.62
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