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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  December 18, 2018

Gasoline prices fell to an average $2.37 per gallon (-3.3% y/y) from $2.42 last week. Prices have fallen from an average high of $2.90 early last month to currently the lowest level since August 2017. Haver Analytics constructs factors to adjust for the marked seasonal variation in prices. The seasonally-adjusted gasoline price fell three cents last week to $2.50 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices eased to an average of $51.53 per barrel (-9.9% y/y) after rising to $52.67 in the prior week. Prices have declined steadily since the peak of $75.11 in early-October. Yesterday, prices declined to $49.88 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices fell last week to an average $60.34 per barrel (-1.5% y/y) from $61.47 during the prior week. Yesterday, prices were $59.02 per barrel.

Natural gas prices fell last week at an average $4.33/mmbtu (+56.3% y/y). Prices were up from a low of $2.52 last February. The price was $3.80 yesterday.

During the latest four weeks, gasoline demand held steady y/y; total petroleum product demand rose 5.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 0.8% y/y, but inventories of all petroleum products eased 1.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 2.0% 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 12/17/18 12/10/18 12/03/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price) 2.37 2.42 2.45 -3.3 2.47 2.31 2.03
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 51.53 52.67 51.09 -9.9 50.87 43.22 48.90
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.33 4.49 4.43 56.3 2.96 2.49 2.62
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