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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  May 29, 2019

Retail gasoline prices fell three cents last week to $2.82 per gallon (-4.7% y/y), the third consecutive weekly decline. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price declined five cents to $2.66 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices declined to an average of $60.82 per barrel last week (-14.3% y/y). The latest price compared to the early-October high of $75.11. Yesterday, prices eased further to $59.14 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices fell to an average of $70.21 per barrel last week (-10.8% y/y). Prices reached a high of $84.96 in early October.

Natural gas prices held steady at $2.67/mmbtu last week (-5.9% y/y). Prices remained below the early-March high of $3.28/mmbtu.

In the four-weeks ending May 17, gasoline demand fell 1.1% y/y, while total petroleum product demand declined 2.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 2.2% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 4.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries slipped 0.3% 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.

Which Core to Believe? Trimmed Mean Versus Ex-Food-and-Energy Inflation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Weekly Energy Prices 5/27/2019 5/20/2019 5/13/2019 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.82 2.85 2.87 -4.7 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 60.82 62.09 61.84 -14.3 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.67 2.67 2.60 -5.9 3.15 2.96 2.49
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