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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  October 4, 2016

Regular gasoline prices rose to $2.25 per gallon (-3.1% y/y), the highest level since early July. Prices remained down, however, versus a 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The adjusted price increased to $2.21 per gallon, the highest level since mid-June.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $46.67 per barrel last week (3.7% y/y), but remained down versus the June high of $50.19. Prices hit a daily low of $26.21 per barrel in February. Yesterday, prices increased further to $48.81 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to $48.25 per barrel last week, then were $50.82 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.97 per mmbtu (+21.1% y/y) from the prior week's high of $3.07. Prices eased to $2.81 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 3.6% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 2.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose a weakened 2.3% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 4.5% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) gained 2.8% y/y in the last four weeks.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Digging into the Downward Trend in Consumer Inflation Expectations from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is available here.

Weekly Energy Prices 10/03/16 09/26/16 09/19/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.25 2.22 2.23 -3.1 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 46.67 44.64 44.34 3.7 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.97 3.07 3.00 21.1 2.62 4.37 3.73
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