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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Decline While Crude Oil Costs Rise
by Tom Moeller  October 29, 2019

In the week ended October 28, U.S. gasoline prices at the pump fell to $2.60 per gallon (-7.6% y/y) compared to $2.64 during the previous week. It was the lowest price in six weeks. Weaker seasonal demand accounted for most of last week's price decline. Haver Analytics adjusts the figures for seasonal variation. The seasonally-adjusted price fell to $2.56 per gallon, down one cent from the prior week. Wholesale prices increased. The price of unleaded regular gasoline in N.Y. was $1.74 (-9.0% y/y) last week versus $1.73 during the prior week.

Crude oil prices moved the other way. The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased to $55.27 per barrel (-18.1% y/y) during the week ended October 25 from $53.48 per barrel during the prior week. The price is up from $44.55 at the end of last year. Yesterday, the price was $55.81 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose to $60.60 per barrel (-21.7% y/y) from $59.27 during the previous week. Prices are up from $52.36 at yearend 2018. Yesterday, the price rose to $61.56.

The price of natural gas was stable at $2.25 per mmbtu (-32.2% y/y) in the week ended October 25. It remained below the $4.49 high reached last December. Yesterday, the price increased to $2.49.

For the four weeks ending October 18, U.S. gasoline demand rose 2.3% y/y while total petroleum product demand increased 3.4% y/y. U.S. gasoline inventories fell 2.7% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products increased 0.5% y/y. Crude oil input to U.S. refineries fell 3.7% 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, demand, production and inventories, including regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 10/28/19 10/21/19 10/14/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.60 2.64 2.63 -7.6 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 55.27 53.48 53.26 -18.1 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.25 2.25 2.26 -32.2 3.18 2.99 2.51
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