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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip; Crude Oil Costs Improve
by Tom Moeller  October 24, 2017

Retail gasoline prices dipped last week to $2.48 per gallon (+10.5% y/y) from $2.49 one week prior and remained lower than the $2.69 high early last month. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted gasoline pump price increased to $2.52 per gallon, the highest level in three weeks.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $51.71 per barrel last week (2.2% y/y) from $50.77 per barrel. Prices improved yesterday to $51.90 per barrel. The two-month futures price rose to $52.08 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $57.78 per barrel last week and were $57.69 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined last week to $2.83/mmbtu (-8.6% y/y) and were $2.94 yesterday.

In the week ended October 13, gasoline demand rose 2.9% y/y, while total petroleum product demand eased 0.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 2.5% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products declined 3.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 1.0% y/y in the last four weeks, compared to sharp y/y improvement earlier this year.

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 10/23/17 10/16/17 10/09/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.48 2.49 2.50 10.5 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 51.71 50.77 50.23 2.2 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.83 2.92 2.83 -8.6 2.49 2.62 4.37
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