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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Hold Steady
by Tom Moeller  February 5, 2019

Retail gasoline prices of $2.25 per gallon last week (-14.5% y/y) were little changed from their end-of-year level. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price was $2.45 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 $53.63 (-17.8% y/y) per barrel last week from $52.74 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 improved to $54.56 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices were fairly steady at an average of $61.32 per barrel last week and were $62.58 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.90/mmbtu last week (-12.1% y/y) after easing to $3.19/mmbtu during the prior week. Prices declined to $2.57 yesterday with warmer temperatures.

In the four-weeks ending January 25, gasoline demand rose 1.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand eased 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 6.3% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 2.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries has increased 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 02/04/19 01/28/19 01/21/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.25 2.26 2.25 -14.5 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 53.63 52.74 52.02 -17.8 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.90 3.19 3.50 -12.1 3.18 2.99 2.51
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