Energy prices in 2006

July 30, 2007

Energy inflation slowed dramatically in 2006 and was most responsible for the lower increase that year in the consumer price index for all items.

Annual change in the Consumer Price Index for energy, 1997-2006
[Chart data—TXT]

Energy prices increased 2.9 percent last year, after rising 17.1 percent in 2005. The all items index increased 2.5 percent in 2006, compared with 3.4 percent during 2005.

A double-digit decrease in utility (piped) natural-gas prices was the main factor behind the deceleration in energy prices. A significant slowdown in motor fuel inflation was a key element as well.

Gasoline prices increased 6.4 percent in 2006 after rising 16.1 percent in 2005. In December 2005, the average price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.19. By December 2006, the price had risen to $2.33.

During 2006, as natural-gas production capacity was restored and as supplies recovered following the previous years’ hurricanes, natural-gas prices decreased 14.2 percent, after increasing 30.2 percent in 2005.

The electricity index increased 7.5 percent last year, compared with 10.7 percent in 2005. The increases in 2005 and 2006 were the largest in this index since 1981.

These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes. For additional information on consumer price changes in 2006, see "Consumer prices rose less in 2006 than in 2005," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review Online, May 2007.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Energy prices in 2006 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jul/wk5/art01.htm (visited September 27, 2016).

OF INTEREST

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.