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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Strong
by Tom Moeller  March 29, 2022

• Gasoline prices edge downward.

• Crude oil prices move higher.

• Natural gas prices exhibit renewed strength.

Retail gasoline prices slipped to $4.23 per gallon last week (+48.4% y/y) from $4.24 per gallon in the week prior. Prices reached a record $4.32 per gallon one week earlier. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $4.24 per gallon from $4.21 in the prior week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $112.87 per barrel (88.2% y/y) in the week ended March 25 after falling to $100.47 in the week prior. Yesterday, the price fell to $105.96 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rebounded to $123.60 per barrel last week (97.7% y/y) after easing to $109.59 in the prior week. It was the highest price since April 2012. The price was $114.50 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas strengthened to $5.18/mmbtu (103.9% y/y) in the week of March 25 after easing to $4.68 in the previous week. It was the highest price since early-February. Prices remain below the high of $5.78/mmbtu in the third week of February 2022. Yesterday, the price rose to $5.52/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended March 18, gasoline demand rose 4.0% y/y, down from 15.2% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products increased a steady 11.7% y/y. Growth in crude oil input to refineries rose 24.4% y/y, after 13.1% y/y growth early in November. Gasoline inventories rose 2.5% y/y but crude oil inventories declined 13.7% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending March 18 fell to 27.0 days. The supply of crude oil slipped to 26.6 days and remained down from 41.8 days early in March of last year.

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 03/28/22 03/21/22 03/14/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 4.23 4.24 4.32 48.4 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 112.87 100.47 113.39 88.2 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 5.18 4.68 4.71 103.9 3.89 2.03 2.57
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