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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Weaken Further
by Tom Moeller  February 4, 2020

Retail gasoline prices fell to $2.46 per gallon (+8.9% y/y) in the week ended February 3 from $2.51 per gallon in the previous week. This was the fourth consecutive weekly decline and the lowest price since March 2019. Haver Analytics adjusts prices for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price fell to $2.67 per gallon from $2.73 in the previous week, but remained well above the recent low of $2.41 early in 2019.

Last week, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $52.73 per barrel (-1.7% y/y) after falling to $56.19 per barrel in the previous week. Prices weakened from $61.75 early in January. Yesterday, the price fell further to $50.11. The price of Brent crude oil declined to an average of $58.54 per barrel (4.5% y/y) from $63.16 per barrel in the previous week. The price declined to $54.40 yesterday.

The weekly average price of natural gas improved to $1.95/mmbtu (-32.8% y/y) last week from $1.93/mmbtu in the previous week. The price weakened further to $1.90/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ending January 24, gasoline demand declined 4.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 4.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.5% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 1.0% 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 02/03/20 01/27/20 01/20/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.46 2.51 2.54 8.9 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 52.73 56.19 58.28 -1.7 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.95 1.93 2.06 -32.8 2.57 3.18 2.99
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