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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  November 6, 2018

Gasoline prices fell last week to an average $2.75 per gallon (+7.5% y/y) from $2.81 during the prior week. It was the lowest price since mid-April. Prices peaked at $2.96 late in May. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell eight cents to $2.76 per gallon.

Continuing to decline last week were West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to $65.06 per barrel (+19.2% y/y) from $67.49 in the prior week. It was the fourth consecutive weekly decline from the peak of $75.11 early in October and the lowest price since early-April. Yesterday, the price fell to $63.10. Brent crude oil prices declined to $74.54 per barrel (+22.4% y/y) last week from $77.42. Yesterday the price fell to $72.82.

Natural gas prices eased last week to $3.28/mmbtu (+18.0% y/y) from $3.32 in the prior week. Prices remained up from the low of $2.52 in February.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand fell 1.5% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 5.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 6.3% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 1.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 2.4% 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 11/05/18 10/29/18 10/22/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.75 2.81 2.84 7.5 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 65.06 67.49 70.27 19.2 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.28 3.32 3.26 18.0 2.96 2.49 2.62
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