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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Increase Again
by Tom Moeller  March 26, 2019

U.S. retail gasoline prices rose this week to $2.62 per gallon (-0.9% y/y), continuing their upward trend from the low of $2.24 early in January. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price rose to $2.70 per gallon from $2.39 early in January.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased to an average of $59.41 (-7.4% y/y) per barrel last week from $57.81 per barrel in the prior week. Prices have been rising since the low of $44.55 per barrel in late-December but remained below the high of $75.11 early in October. Yesterday, prices eased to $58.82. Brent crude oil prices strengthened to an average of $67.58 per barrel last week from a late-December low of $52.36. They were $67.26 yesterday.

Natural gas prices continued to move lower to an average of $2.84/mmbtu last week (+7.2% y/y) and added to the prior week's decline to $2.89/mmbtu. Prices were below the November high of $4.67/mmbtu. The prices was $2.72 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending March 15, gasoline demand declined 1.4% y/y, while total petroleum product demand increased 2.8% y/y. Gasoline inventories eased 0.6% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 0.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 0.6% 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 3/25/19 3/18/19 3/11/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.62 2.55 2.47 -0.9 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 59.41 57.81 56.36 -7.4 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.84 2.89 3.28 7.2 3.18 2.99 2.51
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