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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue to Rise
by Tom Moeller  May 22, 2018

Strong demand continues to help power prices higher for energy products. Retail gasoline prices rose to $2.92 per gallon yesterday (21.8% y/y) from $2.87 per gallon during the prior week. It was the highest price level since November 2014. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price inched higher to $2.78 per gallon, the highest level since mid-February.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to an average of $71.32 (41.8% y/y) per barrel last week from $70.60 per barrel in the week prior. Prices increased further yesterday to $72.24 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices increased to an average of $78.75 per barrel last week and were $78.34 yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved to an average of $2.78/mmbtu last week (-9.5% y/y) and held near that level yesterday. Prices were improved from a $2.68 low three months ago.

In the four-weeks ending May 11, gasoline demand edged increased 0.7% y/y, while total petroleum product demand rose 1.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 3.8% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products dropped 6.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries decreased 3.0% y/y in the last four weeks.

This data is reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 05/21/18 05/14/18 05/07/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.92 2.87 2.85 21.8 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 71.32 70.60 68.38 41.8 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.78 2.73 2.71 -9.5 2.96 2.49 2.62
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