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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Surge
by Tom Moeller  March 9, 2021

• Gasoline prices jump to 2019 high.

• Oil prices are little-changed w/w but jumped yesterday.

• Natural gas prices weaken further.

The price of regular gasoline strengthened to $2.77 per gallon (16.7% y/y) in the week ended March 8, its highest level since July 2019. The price increased from $2.11 per gallon in November of last year. The spot market price held steady at $1.86 per gallon in week prior. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $2.90 per gallon last week from $2.86 in the previous week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were fairly steady last week at an average of $62.29 per barrel (+36.8% y/y) in the week ended March 5 versus $62.33 per barrel in the previous week. The price strengthened to $65.05 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil slipped to $64.74 per barrel (+29.4% y/y) last week from $65.62 in the previous week. The price rose to $68.03 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas fell to $2.79/mmbtu (+55.0% y/y) in the week ended March 5 after falling to $2.86/mmbtu in the previous week. Yesterday, the price eased further to $2.70/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended February 26, gasoline demand fell 11.3% y/y while demand for all petroleum products declined 11.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 36.9% y/yi0. Gasoline inventories fell 3.4% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended February 26 was 30.8 days, down from 32.5 days at the beginning of February.

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 are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 03/08/21 03/01/21 02/22/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.77 2.71 2.63 16.7 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 62.29 62.33 60.21 36.8 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.79 2.86 12.18 55.0 2.03 2.57 3.18
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