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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Little Changed
by Tom Moeller  August 28, 2018

The pump price for a gallon of gasoline has been fairly steady near $2.83 per gallon since the end of June. Nevertheless, prices remained up 17.8% y/y. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price also has been roughly steady at $2.76 per gallon, but remained up versus $2.60 late last year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices improved to $67.63 per barrel last week (41.8% y/y) from $66.13 in the previous week. WTI prices remained lower than the $73.71 peak early in July. Yesterday, the price rose to $68.87. Brent crude oil prices strengthened to $73.77 per barrel last week (41.6% y/y) from $71.85 during the prior week. The price was $76.16 yesterday.

Natural gas prices were steady last week at $2.98/mmbtu (0.7% y/y), the highest level since early-February. They were $2.95 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending August 17, gasoline demand fell 1.6% y/y; total petroleum product demand declined 1.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.9% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products fell 5.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.3% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are 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 08/27/18 08/20/18 08/13/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.83 2.82 2.84 17.8 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 67.63 66.13 67.91 41.8 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.98 2.97 2.93 0.7 2.96 2.49 2.62
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