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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  February 1, 2022

• Gasoline prices continue to rise.

• The cost of crude oil increases slightly.

• Natural gas prices strengthen.

Retail gasoline prices rose to $3.37 per gallon (39.8% y/y) in the week ended January 31 from $3.32 per gallon in the previous week. Prices have risen from a low of $3.28 at the end of December. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price increased to $3.49 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil improved to $86.37 per barrel (64.4% y/y) in the week of January 28 from $86.11 in the prior week. It was the highest price since the second week of October, 2014. Yesterday, the price rose to $88.15 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $88.60 (59.3% y/y). The price increased to $89.15 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas rose to $4.60/mmbtu (69.7% y/y) in the week of January 28 after improving to $4.50 in the previous week. Yesterday, the price surged to $5.56/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended January 21, growth in gasoline demand rose 6.1% y/y, down from 17.1% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products has been steady around 11.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 6.6% y/y, half the growth in late October. Gasoline inventories edged up 0.1% y/y, but crude oil inventories declined 9.7% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending January 21 rose to 30.2 days, its highest level since February 2021. The supply of crude oil was little changed at 26.7 days.

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 01/31/22 01/24/22 01/17/22 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.37 3.32 3.31 39.8 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 86.37 86.11 81.57 64.4 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.60 4.50 4.42 69.7 3.89 2.03 2.57
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