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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  January 29, 2019

Retail gasoline prices of $2.26 per gallon last week (-13.5% y/y) were improved by one penny versus the prior week and have risen slightly for three straight weeks. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price was $2.46 per gallon, up slightly from the 14-month low of $2.39 in early January.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to an average of $52.77 (-18.9% y/y) per barrel last week from $52.02 during the prior week. Prices have steadily increased from the 18-month low of $44.55 reached at the end of last year. Yesterday, prices ticked down to $51.99 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average of $61.60 per barrel last week and were $59.91 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $3.24/mmbtu last week (-5.5% y/y) following the prior week's strengthening to $3.50/mmbtu with colder temperatures. Prices declined to $3.05 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending January 18, gasoline demand was little changed y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 1.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 6.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 2.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 1.9% 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 01/28/19 01/21/19 01/14/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.26 2.25 2.25 -13.5 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 52.77 52.02 50.85 -18.9 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.24 3.50 2.89 -5.5 3.18 2.99 2.51
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