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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Costs Remain Little Changed
by Tom Moeller  January 10, 2017

Regular gasoline prices of $2.39 per gallon (19.6% y/y) last week edged up from $2.38 per gallon in the prior week. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in these pump prices. Weakness in gasoline demand generally leads to lower prices at this time of year. The seasonally adjusted price increased last week to $2.71 per gallon, the highest level since December 2014.

Crude oil prices eased slightly. WTI crude oil prices of $53.34 per barrel (+54.0% y/y) last week compared to $53.59 during the week prior. Prices remained near the highest level since July 2015. Yesterday, prices eased to $51.96 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $55.13 per barrel last week, then fell to $54.39 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased to $3.35/mmbtu last week (+40.8% y/y) from $3.67. Prices fell further to $3.12 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand slipped 0.2% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products eased 0.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.5% y/y, and inventories of all petroleum products increased 2.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries remained unchanged 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.

Weekly Energy Prices 01/09/07 01/02/17 12/26/16 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.39 2.38 2.31 19.6 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 53.34 53.59 52.36 54.0 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.35 3.67 3.50 40.8 2.49 2.62 4.37
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