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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Recover
by Tom Moeller  April 20, 2021

• Gasoline prices reverse last week's easing.

• Crude oil prices strengthen.

• Natural gas prices reach five-week high.

The price of regular gasoline edged higher to $2.86 per gallon (+57.6% y/y) in the week ended April 19 and reversed the prior week's decline to $2.85 per gallon. The price remained higher than a low of $2.11 per gallon in November of last year. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $2.72 per gallon last week from a high of $2.94 per gallon in the third week of March.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil strengthened to an average of $61.93 per barrel (208.0% y/y) in the week ended April 16 after falling to an average of $59.35 in the previous week. The price rose further to $63.38 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $65.41 per barrel (124.2% y/y) last week from $62.86 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $67.02 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas rebounded to $2.59/mmbtu (50.6% y/y) in the week ended April 16 after falling to $2.45/mmbtu in the previous week. Yesterday, the price soared to $2.75/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended April 9, gasoline demand rose 76.0% y/y and demand for all petroleum products increased by 47.3 y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 18.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 10.4% y/y while crude oil inventories eased 0.8% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended April 9 declined to 26.7 days, down sharply from 32.1 days during all of February. The supply of crude oil in inventory eased to 33.1 days from 41.8 days four weeks earlier.

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.

The Cycle Disparities in Economic Outcomes and Opportunities from Loretta J. Mester, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland can be found here.

Weekly Energy Prices 04/19/21 04/12/21 04/05/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.86 2.85 2.86 57.6 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 61.93 59.35 60.66 208.0 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.59 2.45 2.54 50.6 2.03 2.57 3.18
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