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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  October 12, 2016

Regular gasoline prices rose to $2.27 per gallon (-2.8% y/y) last week, 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 $2.25 per gallon, the highest level since early-January.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $49.51 per barrel last week (2.4% y/y). Yesterday, prices increased further to $50.79 per barrel, and surpassed the weekly high in June of $50.19. Prices hit a daily low of $26.21 per barrel in February. Brent crude oil prices rose to $51.56 per barrel last week, then were $52.42 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $2.89 per mmbtu (+21.1% y/y) last week from $2.97, then strengthened to $3.14 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 3.2% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 3.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose a weakened 1.6% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 4.5% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) gained 2.3% 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.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting are available here.

Weekly Energy Prices 10/10/16 10/03/16 09/26/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.27 2.25 2.22 -2.8 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 49.51 46.57 44.64 2.4 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.89 2.97 3.07 21.1 2.62 4.37 3.73
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