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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  September 4, 2019

The U.S. pump price for gasoline slipped to $2.56 per gallon (-9.2% y/y) last week from the prior week's $2.57 per gallon. Prices have fallen from the early-May high of $2.90. Haver Analytics calculates price figures adjusted for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $2.44 per gallon from $2.50 in the prior week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices eased to $55.22 per barrel (-20.7% y/y) in the week ended August 30 from $55.51 in the previous week. Prices remained below the high of $75.11 early last October. Yesterday, the price of WTI fell to $53.94. Brent crude oil prices fell to $59.68 per barrel (-22.5% y/y) last week from an average $60.01 per barrel in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $58.36.

The price of natural gas improved to $2.29 per mmbtu (-22.9% y/y) in the week ended August 30 from $2.27/mmbtu averaged in the previous week. This was the third consecutive weekly increase.

For the four-weeks ending August 23, U.S. gasoline demand increased 2.3% y/y on top of a 1.5% y/y gain the previous week. Total petroleum product demand rose 2.3% y/y. In the week ended August 23, U.S. gasoline inventories slipped 0.3% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products increased 3.5% y/y. Crude oil input to U.S. refineries fell 1.1% y/y.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. More detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, including regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 9/2/2019 8/26/2019 8/19/2019 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.56 2.57 2.60 -9.2 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 55.22 55.51 55.31 -20.7 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.29 2.27 2.21 -22.9 3.15 2.96 2.49
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