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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Move Upward
by Tom Moeller  March 5, 2019

The retail price for gasoline rose to $2.42 per gallon last week (-5.4% y/y), the fourth consecutive week of increase. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price eased one penny to $2.56 per gallon, but still was near the highest level in three months.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices eased to an average of $56.14 (-9.6% y/y) per barrel last week. Prices remained below the four-year high of $75.11 reached in early October 2018, but remained above the 18-month low of $44.45, touched in December. Yesterday, prices rose to $56.59 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices declined to an average of $65.55 per barrel last week, but have risen more than $10.00 per barrel during the last two months. Prices were stable at $65.57 yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose to an average of $2.97/mmbtu last week (12.5% y/y) from $2.72/mmbtu. They remained below the $4.67 high reached late in November. Prices were at $2.25/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending February 22, gasoline demand fell 1.5% y/y, but total petroleum product demand increased 2.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 1.2% y/y in the week ending February 22 , while inventories of all petroleum products grew 2.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 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 03/04/19 02/25/19 02/18/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.42 2.39 2.32 -5.4 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 56.14 56.75 53.89 -9.6 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.97 2.72 2.66 12.5 3.18 2.99 2.51
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