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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Generally Move Higher
by Gerald D. Cohen  January 23, 2019

Retail gasoline prices were unchanged at $2.25 per gallon last week (-12.3% year-on-year). During 2018 prices ranged between the late-May high of $2.96 and the year-end low of $2.27. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price was $2.45 per gallon, up slightly from the 14-month low of $2.39 in early January.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to an average of $52.06 (-18.4% y/y) per barrel last week. Prices have steadily increased from the 18-month low of $44.55 reached at the end of last year. Yesterday, prices ticked down to $52.57 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average of $60.97 per barrel last week and were $61.38 yesterday.

Natural gas prices jumped to an average of $3.50/mmbtu last week (-15.3% y/y) from $2.89/mmbtu as more seasonal weather returned. Prices declined to $3.16 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending January 11th, gasoline demand decreased 1.0% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 2.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories were up 6.1% y/y in the week ending January 11th, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 2.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 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 01/21/19 01/14/19 01/07/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.25 2.25 2.24 -12.3 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 52.06 50.85 46.70 -18.4 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.50 2.89 2.92 -15.3 3.18 2.99 2.51
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