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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Steady; Crude Oil Price Weakens
by Tom Moeller  September 11, 2018

Gasoline prices continue their recent sideways movement and were $2.83 per gallon last week (5.5% y/y). They 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 was little changed w/w at $2.69 per gallon, down ten cents from the August average.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices declined to $68.53 per barrel last week (+41.1% y/y) from $69.62 in the previous week. WTI prices remained lower than the $73.71 peak early in July. Yesterday, the price eased to $67.54. Brent crude oil prices improved to $77.29 per barrel last week from $76.97 during the prior week. The price was fairly steady at $77.41 yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell last week to $2.90/mmbtu (+1.0% y/y). The price fell to $2.85 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending August 31, gasoline demand increased 1.2% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 3.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 3.5% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products remained down 5.1% 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 09/11/18 09/04/18 08/27/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.83 2.82 2.83 5.5 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.53 69.62 67.83 41.1 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.90 2.93 2.98 1.0 2.96 2.49 2.62
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