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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip; Crude Oil Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  September 5, 2018

Gasoline prices eased to $2.82 per gallon (+5.4% y/y) last week and remained down from the late-May high of $2.96. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price declined sharply w/w to $2.68 per gallon, down ten cents versus the August average.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to $69.61 per barrel last week (49.2% y/y) from $67.83 in the previous week. Nevertheless, WTI prices remained lower than the $73.71 peak early in July. Yesterday, the price rose to $69.87. Brent crude oil prices strengthened to $76.97 per barrel last week from $73.77 during the prior week. The price was $77.71 yesterday.

Natural gas prices eased last week to $2.93/mmbtu (+1.5% y/y) and were $2.96 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending August 24, gasoline demand fell 1.5% y/y; total petroleum product demand was little changed y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 1.2% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products remained down 5.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 1.0% 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 09/04/18 08/27/18 08/20/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.82 2.83 2.82 5.4 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 69.61 67.83 66.14 49.2 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.93 2.98 2.97 1.5 2.96 2.49 2.62
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