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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline, Crude Oil & Natural Gas Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  February 8, 2022

• Gasoline prices jump to highest level since 2014.

• Cost of crude oil increases also to an eight-year high.

• Natural gas prices spike.

Retail gasoline prices moved up to $3.44 per gallon (39.9% y/y) in the week ended February 7 from $3.37 in the previous week. Prices stood at the highest level since the second week of September, 2014 and have risen from a December 2021 low of $3.28. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price increased to $3.57 per gallon last week from $3.49 in the prior week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil improved to $89.64 per barrel (61.8% y/y) in the week of February 4 from $86.54 in the prior week. It was the highest price since the first week of October 2014. Yesterday, the price rose to $91.32 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $90.35 (55.5% y/y). The price jumped to $92.69 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas surged to $5.78/mmbtu (85.3% y/y) in the week of February 4 after edging higher to $4.60 in the previous week. It was the highest price since the second week of October 2021. Yesterday, the price fell to $4.44/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended January 28, growth in gasoline demand rose 5.2% y/y, down from 17.1% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products has been steady around 11.8% y/y since early December. Crude oil input to refineries rose 5. 1% y/y, half the growth in late-October. Gasoline inventories eased 0.8% y/y, but crude oil inventories declined 9.8% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending January 28 rose to 30.4 days, its highest level since February 2021. The supply of crude oil edged up to 26.9 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 02/07/22 01/31/22 01/24/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.44 3.37 3.32 39.9 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 89.64 86.54 86.11 61.8 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 5.78 4.60 4.50 85.3 3.89 2.03 2.57
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