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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Move Higher
by Tom Moeller  September 8, 2021

• Gasoline prices reach seven-year high.

• Crude oil prices strengthen.

• Natural gas prices surge.

Retail gasoline prices strengthened to $3.18 per gallon (43.6% y/y) in the week ended September 6 after slipping to $3.14 in the previous week. Prices were at the highest level since October 2014, up from the low of $1.77 per gallon at the end of April 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price held steady last week at $3.09 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $69.12 per barrel (66.2% y/y) in the week ended September 3 and added to the prior week's rise to $67.55 per barrel. Prices remained below the high of $74.04 in the first week of July. Yesterday, they eased to $68.35 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $72.09 per barrel (62.4% y/y) after rising to $71.18 per barrel in the previous week. Prices remained down from $75.30 at the end of June. They eased to $71.64 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices jumped last week to $4.49/mmbtu and have more than doubled y/y. The price increased to $4.71/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended August 27, gasoline demand increased 6.9% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 17.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 11.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell a lessened 3.3% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 8.7% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending August 27 edged higher to 24.0 days but remained near their lowest level since November 2019. That remained down sharply from the high of 32.9 days in the third week of February.

These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of 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 are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 09/06/21 08/30/21 08/23/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.18 3.14 3.15 43.6 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 69.12 67.55 65.07 66.2 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.49 4.07 3.90 107.9 2.03 2.57 3.18
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