The nation's natural gas supplies rose last week, the government said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage grew by 47 billion cubic feet to 2.548 trillion cubic feet for the week ended April 20.

Analysts expected a rise of 44 billion to 47 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 55.4 percent above the five-year average of 1.640 trillion cubic feet, and 52 percent above last year's level of 1.676 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas futures rose 4 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $2.11 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.