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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Heating Oil Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  November 14, 2018

Gasoline prices declined last week to an average $2.69 per gallon (+3.6% y/y) from $2.75 during the prior week. Prices have fallen from an average high of $2.90 in the last five weeks. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell six cents last week to $2.70 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell to an average of $61.56 per barrel (+7.9% y/y) from $65.06 in the prior week. It was the fifth consecutive weekly decline from the peak of $75.11 in early October and the lowest price since March. Yesterday, the price weakened to $55.69 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined to $71.56 per barrel (+12.3% y/y) last week from $74.54. Yesterday, prices softened to $67.49.

Natural gas prices strengthened last week to $3.54/mmbtu (13.4% y/y) from $3.28 in the prior week. Prices have improved to $3.96 this week, up from the low of $2.52 in February.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand fell 1.4% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 4.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories surged 8.8% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 1.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries has risen 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 11/13/18 11/05/18 10/29/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.69 2.75 2.81 3.6 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 61.56 65.06 67.49 7.9 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.54 3.28 3.32 13.4 2.96 2.49 2.62
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