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Economy in Brief

U.S. Prices of Energy Products Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  January 15, 2019

Gasoline prices averaged a fairly steady $2.25 per gallon this past week (-12.1% y/y) but remained below the $2.90 October peak. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price held at $2.37 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices continued to rebound last week to an average of $50.88 per barrel (-19.6% y/y) after falling to $44.55 early this month, the lowest price since June 2017. Yesterday, prices were $48.52 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices improved last week to an average $59.97 per barrel (-13.0% y/y) up from $55.28 during the prior week. Yesterday, prices were $57.49 per barrel.

Natural gas prices declined last week to an average $2.88/mmbtu (-11.1% y/y) from an average $2.92 during the prior week. It was the lowest price in roughly five months. The price was $2.80 on Friday.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand declined 1.2% y/y; total petroleum product demand eased 0.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 4.5% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products rose 1.1 y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.0% 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 01/14/19 01/07/19 12/31/18 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, EOP) 2.25 2.24 2.27 -12.1 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 50.88 46.70 44.55 -19.6 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.88 2.92 3.26 -11.1 3.18 2.99 2.51
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