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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Continue to Decline
by Tom Moeller  December 4, 2018

Gasoline prices fell to an average $2.45 per gallon (-2.0% y/y) from $2.54 during last week. Prices have fallen from an average high of $2.90 early last month, to the lowest level since December 2017. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell eight cents last week to $2.55 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell to an average of $51.09 per barrel last week (-11.6% y/y) from $55.06 in the prior week. Prices have fallen steadily since the peak of $75.11 in early-October to the lowest price since October 2017. Yesterday, prices were $52.95 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined to $59.77 per barrel (-5.5% y/y) last week from $62.85 during the prior week. Yesterday, prices were $61.92 per barrel.

Natural gas prices eased last week to $4.47/mmbtu (+53.5% y/y) from $4.67 in the prior week. Prices were up from the low of $2.52 last February.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand fell 0.9% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 5.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 4.9% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products eased 0.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries has risen 0.5% 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 12/03/18 11/26/18 11/19/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.45 2.54 2.61 -2.0 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 51.09 55.06 56.94 -11.6 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.47 4.67 4.23 53.5 2.96 2.49 2.62
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