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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Fall as Crude Oil Stabilizes
by Tom Moeller  November 19, 2019

Retail gasoline prices declined to $2.59 per gallon last week (-0.7% y/y) from $2.62 in the previous week. It was the lowest price in two months. Weakness in gasoline demand typically leads to lower prices this time of year. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.62 per gallon, the highest level since the last week of July.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose slightly to an average $56.98 (0.1% y/y) per barrel last week versus $56.78 during the prior week. It remained the highest price in two months. Yesterday, prices rose further to $57.05. Brent crude oil prices improved to $62.44 (-6.7% y/y) per barrel last week and were $62.23 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.73/mmbtu last week (-35.5% y/y) and reversed roughly half of the prior week's rise.

In the four-weeks ending November 8, gasoline demand increased 2.6% y/y. Total petroleum product demand rose 0.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 3.3% y/y in the week ending November 8, while inventories of all petroleum products grew 0.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 3.6% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Climate Data Center. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Weekly U.S. National (Contiguous 48 States) temperature can be found in WEEKLY. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 11/18/19 11/11/19 11/04/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.59 2.62 2.61 -0.7 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 56.98 56.78 55.24 0.1 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.73 2.81 2.62 -35.5 3.18 2.99 2.51
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