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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Strengthen Further
by Tom Moeller  April 16, 2019

Retail gasoline prices jumped to $2.83 per gallon last week (2.9% y/y), the highest level since late-October 2018. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.82 per gallon, the highest level since mid-February of last year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to an average of $64.10 (-2.9% y/y) per barrel last week. Oil prices had plunged to an 18-month low of $44.55 at the end of last year. Yesterday, prices eased to $63.40 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices strengthened to an average of $71.13 per barrel last week and were $71.23 yesterday.

Natural gas prices nudged higher to an average of $2.72/mmbtu last week (0.3% y/y), but remained below the $3.28 high reached early last month. The price was $2.69 yesterday

In the four-weeks ending April 5, gasoline demand rose 1.3% y/y, while total petroleum product demand eased 0.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 4.1% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products gained 1.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 5.3% 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 4/15/19 4/8/19 4/1/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.83 2.75 2.69 2.9 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 64.10 62.37 59.50 -2.9 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.72 2.70 2.71 0.3 3.15 2.96 2.49
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