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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Edge Up; Crude Oil Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  June 2, 2021

• Gasoline prices remain strong versus last year.

• Crude oil prices rise further.

• Natural gas prices decline again.

Retail gasoline prices rose to $3.03 per gallon (53.3% y/y) in the week ended May 31 and recaptured the prior week's easing to $3.02. Prices have strengthened by one-half y/y and have increased from the November average of $2.11. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose one penny to $2.82 per gallon last week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $66.36 per barrel (94.0% y/y) in the week ended May 28. Yesterday, the price strengthened to $67.72 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $68.46 per barrel (90.5% y/y) last week from $67.20 during the week prior. The price rose yesterday to $70.46 per barrel.

The price of natural gas declined to $2.86/mmbtu (61.6% y/y) in the week ended May 28 after falling to $2.91/mmbtu during the prior week. The price rebounded yesterday to $3.02/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended May 21, gasoline demand rose 30.7% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 25.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 17.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 8.8% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 5.5% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending May 21 was 25.6 days, down from 32.1 days in February. The supply of crude oil inventories eased to 32.0 days from 39.7 days in March.

These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of 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 05/31/21 05/24/21 05/17/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.03 3.02 3.03 53.3 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 66.36 64.15 65.09 94.0 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.86 2.91 2.93 61.6 2.03 2.57 3.18
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