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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Improve
by Tom Moeller  May 23, 2017

Regular gasoline prices rebounded to $2.40 per gallon last week (4.3% y/y), the highest level in three weeks. Prices remained down five cents versus late April's high and 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 rose to $2.23 per gallon from $2.21 and remained down from the $2.71 early-January high.

WTI crude oil prices increased to $49.25 per barrel last week (2.6% y/y) from $47.06 in the prior week. Prices remained down from $53.18 in early-April. Prices increased further to $50.73 yesterday. Brent crude oil prices increased w/w to $52.32 per barrel last week and were $51.79 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to $3.12/mmbtu last week (56.7% y/y), then rose to $3.27 yesterday.

Last week, gasoline demand fell 2.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand declined 1.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories were little changed y/y and inventories of all petroleum products eased 0.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 6.3% 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.

Weekly Energy Prices 05/22//17 05/15/17 05/08/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.40 2.37 2.37 4.3 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 49.25 47.06 47.21 2.6 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 3.08 3.12 3.10 63.3 2.49 2.62 4.37
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