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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Continue to Rise; Natural Gas Costs Trend Lower
by Tom Moeller  April 2, 2019

U.S. retail gasoline prices increased this week to $2.69 per gallon (-0.3% y/y), up from the low of $2.24 early in January. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.73 per gallon, the highest level since October.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were little-changed w/w at an average of $59.49 (-8.5% y/y) per barrel. Prices have been rising since the low of $44.55 per barrel in late-December but remained below the high of $75.11 early in October. Yesterday, prices strengthened to $61.59. Brent crude oil prices held steady w/w at an average of $67.59 per barrel, up from a late-December low of $52.36. They were $69.01 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to an average of $2.71/mmbtu last week (+1.5% y/y). Prices were below the November high of $4.67/mmbtu. The price was $2.74 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending March 22, gasoline demand declined 1.9% y/y, while total petroleum product demand was little changed y/y. Gasoline inventories eased 0.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 0.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 2.8% 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 4/1/19 3/25/19 3/18/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.69 2.62 2.55 -0.3 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 59.49 59.38 57.81 -8.5 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.71 2.86 2.89 1.5 3.18 2.99 2.51
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