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Economy in Brief

Continued Ascent in U.S. Oil and Gasoline Prices
by Gerald D. Cohen  April 9, 2019

Retail gasoline prices increased to $2.75 per gallon last week (1.9% year-on-year), the highest level since early November 2018. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.77 per gallon, a level not seen since last October.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to an average of $62.36 (-1.1% 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. Yesterday, prices moved up to $64.40 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average of $69.49 per barrel last week and were $71.03 yesterday.

Natural gas prices held steady at an average of $2.71/mmbtu last week (-2.9% y/y).

In the four-weeks ending March 29, gasoline demand declined 1.5% y/y, while total petroleum product demand was down 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 0.7% y/y in the week ending March 29th, while inventories of all petroleum products gained 1.5% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 4.5% 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 4/8/19 4/1/19 3/25/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.75 2.69 2.62 1.9 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 62.36 59.50 59.38 -1.1 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.71 2.71 2.86 -2.9 3.18 2.99 2.51
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