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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Up
by Gerald D. Cohen  February 26, 2019

Retail gasoline prices edged up to $2.39 per gallon last week (-6.2% year-on-year). Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.57 per gallon, up from the 14-month low of $2.39 in early January.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to an average of $56.82 (-9.0% y/y) per barrel last week. Oil prices hit an 18-month low of $44.55 at the end of last year and have been on a fairly steady rise since then. Still, prices are well below the four-year high of $75.11 reached in early October 2018. Yesterday, prices ticked down to $55.48 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average of $66.82 per barrel last week and were $64.63 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose to an average of $2.72/mmbtu last week (3.8% y/y) from $2.66/mmbtu. Prices were at $2.84/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending February 15, gasoline demand decreased 0.36% y/y, while total petroleum product demand dropped 0.12% y/y. Gasoline inventories were up 3.0% y/y in the week ending February 15, while inventories of all petroleum products grew 2.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined .35% 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 02/25/19 02/18/19 02/11/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.39 2.32 2.28 -6.2 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 56.82 53.89 53.53 -9.0 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.72 2.66 2.59 3.8 3.18 2.99 2.51
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