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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue to Weaken
by Tom Moeller  August 13, 2019

The pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. declined to $2.62 (-7.7% y/y) last week from $2.69 per gallon in the prior week. The price was the lowest since the end of March and down from the early-May high of $2.90. Haver Analytics calculates a series which is adjusted for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $2.55 per gallon from $2.61 in the prior week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell to $53.27 per barrel (-21.6% y/y) in the week ended August 9 from $56.62 in the previous week. Yesterday, prices improved to $54.93 from $54.50 on Friday. Brent crude oil prices declined to an average of $58.31 per barrel (-20.2% y/y) last week from $63.17 per barrel in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $58.50 versus $58.58 on Friday.

The price of natural gas weakened to $2.11 per mmbtu (-28.5% y/y) in the week ended August 9 from $2.24/mmbtu averaged in the previous week. It was the lowest weekly average price since May 2016. Yesterday, the price of natural gas improved to $2.21/mmbtu from $2.09/mmbtu on Friday.

For the four-weeks ending August 2, U.S. gasoline demand fell 1.8% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 0.2% y/y. U.S. gasoline inventories gained 0.6% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products rose 4.5% y/y. Crude oil input to U.S. refineries fell 0.8% y/y.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. More detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, including regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 8/12/2019 8/5/2019 7/29/2019 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.62 2.69 2.72 -7.7 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 53.27 56.62 56.08 -21.6 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.11 2.24 2.30 -28.5 3.15 2.96 2.49
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