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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Continue to Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  April 18, 2017

Regular gasoline prices increased to $2.44 per gallon last week (14.0% y/y), up versus $1.76 per gallon during February 2016. Prices remained lower than the 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price held steady at $2.39 per gallon, but remained down from the $2.71 early-January high.

WTI crude oil prices increased to $53.18 per barrel last week (28.9% y/y) following the prior week's gain to $51.27. Prices fell to $52.65 yesterday. Prices remained lower than the $54.02 high in the third week of February. Brent crude oil prices increased to $55.82 per barrel last week and were $55.34 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell to $3.05/mmbtu last week (+61.7% y/y), then were $3.06 yesterday. Prices were up versus the $1.57 low early in March of last year.

Last week, gasoline demand fell 1.0% y/y, while total petroleum product demand remained steady 0.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 1.5% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products eased 0.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.1% 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 04/17/17 04/10/17 04/03/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.44 2.42 2.36 14.0 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 53.18 51.27 49.17 28.9 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.05 3.15 3.02 61.7 2.49 2.62 4.37
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