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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Continue to Decline
by Tom Moeller  January 2, 2019

Gasoline prices fell to $2.27 per gallon this past week (-10.1% y/y) from $2.32 during the prior week. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell to $2.37 per gallon from $2.45.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices declined to an average of $44.60 per barrel (-25.6% y/y), the lowest price since June 2017. Prices have declined steadily since the peak of $75.11 in early-October. On Monday, prices were $45.41 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices fell last week to an average $52.36 per barrel (-20.8% y/y) from $56.03 during the prior week. Yesterday, prices were $54.28 per barrel.

Natural gas prices fell last week at an average $3.48/mmbtu (+14.9% y/y). Prices were up from a low of $2.52 last February. The price was $3.25 yesterday.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand declined 1.1% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 3.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 2.1% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products eased 0.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 2.0% 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 12/31/18 12/24/18 12/17/18 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, EOP) 2.27 2.32 2.37 -10.1 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 44.60 46.88 51.54 -25.6 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.48 3.73 4.38 14.9 3.19 2.99 2.51
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