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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Slip; Crude Oil Costs Rise
by Tom Moeller  May 21, 2019

Retail gasoline prices eased another two cents last week to $2.85 per gallon (-2.4% y/y) after falling slightly during the prior week. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price declined six cents to $2.71 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices improved to an average of $62.09 per barrel last week (-12.9% y/y). The latest price compared to the early-October high of $75.11. Yesterday, prices rose to $63.10 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average of $71.79 per barrel last week (-8.8% y/y). Prices reached a high of $84.96 in early October. The price was $72.02 yesterday.

Natural gas prices increased to $2.67/mmbtu last week (-4.6% y/y), the highest price in three weeks. Prices remained below the early-March high of $3.28/mmbtu.

In the four-weeks ending May 10, gasoline demand rose 0.5% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 0.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories declined 3.0% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products gained 3.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries slipped 0.3% 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 5/20/19 5/13/19 5/6/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.85 2.87 2.90 -2.4 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 62.09 61.84 62.92 -12.9 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.67 2.60 2.60 -4.6 3.15 2.96 2.49
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