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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Improve; Crude Oil Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  October 31, 2017

Retail gasoline prices rose a penny last week to $2.49 per gallon (11.6% y/y), but 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 $2.56 per gallon, the highest level in six weeks.

WTI crude oil prices rose to $52.59 per barrel last week (6.3% y/y) from $51.74 per barrel a week earlier. Prices improved yesterday to $54.15 per barrel. The two month futures price rose to $54.37 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to $58.58 per barrel last week and were $60.65 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased last week to $2.89/mmbtu (7.6% y/y) and were $2.87 yesterday.

In the week ended October 20, gasoline demand rose 1.6% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 3.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.0% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products were off 4.1% 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 10/30/17 10/23/17 10/16/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.49 2.48 2.49 11.6 2.31 2.03 2.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 52.59 51.74 50.77 6.3 43.22 48.90 93.64
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.89 2.83 2.92 7.6 2.49 2.62 4.37
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