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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Natural Gas Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2016

Regular gasoline prices dipped to $2.24 per gallon (+0.7% y/y) last week, but remained near 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 $2.28 per gallon, the highest level since early-January.

WTI crude oil prices improved to $50.63 per barrel last week (+12.1% y/y). Yesterday, prices were fairly steady at $50.52 per barrel, up from a daily low of $26.21 per barrel in February. Brent crude oil prices dipped to $51.77 per barrel last week, then were $51.42 yesterday.

Natural gas prices of $3.10 per mmbtu last week were nearly one-third higher versus a year earlier. Prices declined sharply to $2.75 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand increased 0.2% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 3.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose a diminished 3.7% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 3.2% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) gained 1.9% 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.

Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here.

Weekly Energy Prices 10/24/16 10/17/16 10/10/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.24 2.26 2.27 0.7 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 50.63 50.42 49.50 12.1 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.10 3.15 2.89 30.7 2.62 4.37 3.73
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