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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Still Rising
by Sandy Batten  June 1, 2022

• Gasoline prices rose further to another series high.

• Crude oil prices increased on top of previous week's surge.

• Apart from one-week spike during the Texas freeze in 2021, natural gas prices rose to highest level since August 2008.

Retail gasoline prices increased to $4.62 per gallon (+52.8% y/y) in the week ended May 30, another series high dating back to 1990, from $4.59 per gallon in the previous week. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price edged up one cent to $4.53 per gallon, also a series high.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil edged up further to $112.47 per barrel (+69.5% y/y) in the week ended May 27 after having surged to $112.16 in the previous week. This compares to a recent high of $113.33 averaged in the fourth week of March. Yesterday, the price was $114.67 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $115.19 per barrel (+68.3% y/y) from $111.76 per barrel in the prior week. It was the highest price since the end of March. The price rose to $118.13 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas continued to rise in the week ended May 27, increasing to $8.79/mmbtu (+207.3% y/y) from $8.21/mmbtu in the previous week. The price has risen from a recent low of $1.52/mmbtu averaged in the third week of June 2020 and is up 147% since the beginning of this year. Yesterday, the price was $8.46/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended May 20, gasoline demand fell 2.7% y/y. By contrast, demand for all petroleum products rose 2.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 4.5% y/y.

Gasoline inventories decreased 5.5% y/y in the week of May 20 while crude oil inventories declined 14.5% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ended May 20 edged down to 24.8 days from 24.9 days in the previous week. The supply of crude oil slipped to 26.5 days from 26.8 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.

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