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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Drift Sideways
by Tom Moeller  September 18, 2018

Gasoline prices were $2.84 per gallon last week (7.9% y/y) and have been little changed since May. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price rose w/w to $2.73 per gallon from $2.69.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices held fairly steady last week at $68.95 per barrel (40.5% y/y). WTI prices remained lower than the $73.71 peak early in July. Yesterday, the price was $67.91. Brent crude oil prices strengthened to $78.54 per barrel last week from $77.29 during the prior week. The price was $77.94 yesterday.

Natural gas prices were $2.89/mmbtu (-2.1% y/y) last week, roughly unchanged w/w. They remained lower than last month's high of $2.98. The price was $2.90 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending September 14, gasoline demand increased 1.3% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 5.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories surged 8.0% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 4.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries surged 11.3% 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 09/17/18 09/10/18 09/03/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.84 2.83 2.82 7.9 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.95 68.52 69.62 40.5 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.89 2.90 2.93 -2.1 2.96 2.49 2.62
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