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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Fall Again
by Sandy Batten  January 28, 2020

Retail gasoline prices fell to $2.51 per gallon (+11.1% y/y) in the week ended January 27 from $2.54 per gallon in the previous week. This was the third consecutive weekly decline and the lowest price since the week ended March 11, 2019. Haver Analytics adjusts prices for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price eased to $2.73 per gallon from $2.76 in the previous week, but remained well above the recent low of $2.41 in early 2019.

In the week ended January 24, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil price fell to $56.19 per barrel (+6.1% y/y) from $58.28 per barrel in the previous week. It was the third consecutive weekly decline and the lowest price since early November 2019. Yesterday, the price fell further to $53.14, its lowest since last October. The WTI price has fallen more than 16% in the past three weeks. The price of Brent crude oil eased to an average of $63.16 per barrel (+2.5% y/y) from $64.48 per barrel in the previous week. The price declined to $59.21 yesterday.

The weekly average price of natural gas fell sharply to $1.93/mmbtu (-39.5% y/y) in the week ended January 24 from $2.06/mmbtu in the previous week. This is the lowest price since the week ended May 27, 2016. The price rose to $2.03/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending January 17, gasoline demand declined 1.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories edged up 0.2% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 0.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 2.3% y/y in the past 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 01/27/20 01/20/20 01/13/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.51 2.54 2.57 11.1 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 56.19 58.28 60.83 6.1 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.93 2.06 2.10 -39.5 2.57 3.18 2.99
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