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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Were Mixed Last Week
by Tom Moeller  February 2, 2021

• Gasoline prices continue to rise.

• Oil prices ease slightly.

• Natural gas prices bounce back.

The price of regular gasoline increased to $2.41 per gallon (-1.9% y/y) in the week ended February 1 from $2.39 per gallon in the previous week. It was the highest price since the first week of March 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $2.62 per gallon last week from $2.61 in the previous week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices slipped to an average of $52.56 per barrel (-0.3% y/y) in the week ended January 29 from $52.88 per barrel in the previous week. The price remained up versus the $17.47 per barrel low averaged in April of last year. The average price of Brent crude oil was fairly steady at $55.63 (-5.0% y/y) last week.

The price of natural gas rebounded to $2.71/mmbtu (39.0% y/y) in the week ended January 29 after falling to $2.54/mmbtu in the previous week. Prices remained substantially higher than the $1.52/mmbtu low in the third week of June last year.

In the four weeks ended January 22, gasoline demand fell 10.9% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 7.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 5.2% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products rose 1.8% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended January 22 was 32.0 days, up from a recent low of 26.4 days in late-October.

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 are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 02/01/21 01/25/21 01/18/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.41 2.39 2.38 -1.9 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 52.56 52.88 52.79 -0.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.71 2.54 2.82 39.0 2.03 2.57 3.18
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