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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  October 23, 2018

Gasoline prices fell four cents last week to an average $2.84 per gallon (+14.6% y/y). Prices have been fairly steady since May. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price also was $2.84 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices slipped to $70.26 per barrel last week (+35.8% y/y) from $72.95 during the prior week. Yesterday, the price weakened to $69.17. Brent crude oil prices declined to $80.41 per barrel (+39.2% y/y) last week from $83.05. The price was $80.45 yesterday.

Natural gas prices backpedaled to $3.26/mmbtu (+15.3% y/y) last week. Prices remained up from the low of $2.52 in February. The price was $3.20 yesterday.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand fell 2.8% y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 0.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories strengthened 5.3% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products declined 1.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose a lessened 2.8% 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 10/22/18 10/15/18 10/08/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.84 2.88 2.90 14.6 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 70.26 72.95 75.11 35.8 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.26 3.30 3.23 15.3 2.96 2.49 2.62
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