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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Edge Higher
by Tom Moeller  February 19, 2020

Retail gasoline prices rose to $2.43 per gallon (4.8% y/y) in the week ended February 17 from $2.42 per gallon in the previous week. This followed five consecutive weeks of decline and the price compared to an early-May peak of $2.90 per gallon. Haver Analytics adjusts prices for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price held steady at $2.63 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil improved to $50.83 per barrel (-5.7% y/y) after falling to $50.34 per barrel in the previous week. It followed five consecutive weekly declines from a peak of $61.75 per barrel. Yesterday, the price of WTI improved to $52.05 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose to an average of $55.38 per barrel (-13.1% y/y) from $54.66 per barrel in the previous week. The price improved further to $57.76 yesterday. Prices peaked at $67.38 at the end of last year.

The average price of natural gas rose to $1.98/mmbtu (-23.6% y/y) last week from $1.89/mmbtu in the previous week. The price remained below the peak of $2.81/mmbtu reach early in November.

In the four weeks ending February 7, gasoline demand declined 2.9% y/y, while total petroleum product demand eased 0.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.1% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 0.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 1.7% 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 02/17/20 02/10/20 02/03/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.43 2.42 2.46 4.8 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 50.83 50.34 52.73 -5.7 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.98 1.89 1.95 -23.6 2.57 3.18 2.99
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