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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Steady; Crude Oil Costs Ease
by Tom Moeller  March 13, 2018

Retail gasoline prices of $2.56 per gallon last week (10.2% y/y) were little-changed versus the prior three weeks, up from the early-2016 lows near $1.76 per gallon. Prices have moved roughly sideways since September. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price declined to $2.63 per gallon, the lowest level since late-December.

WTI crude oil prices slipped to $61.67 per barrel last week (+21.6% y/y) compared to $62.11 in the prior week, and $45.62 per barrel last June. Prices were $61.36 per barrel yesterday. Brent crude oil prices eased to $65.12 per barrel last week and slipped to $64.53 yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to $2.71/mmbtu (-1.5% y/y) and were $2.77/mmbtu yesterday.

In the week ended February 23, gasoline demand increased 3.3% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 3.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories gained 0.7% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products fell 8.5% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries improved 3.1% 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 03/12/18 03/05/18 02/26/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.56 2.56 2.55 10.2 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl.) 61.67 62.11 62.47 21.6 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.71 2.61 2.60 -1.5 2.96 2.49 2.62
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