August 05, 2009
After surging in 2007 and the first 7 months of 2008, prices for energy goods plummeted during the final 5 months of 2008. Retreating gasoline prices led the reversal in the finished energy goods index.
After the finished energy goods index jumped 19.2 percent though July and decreased by 33.9 percent during the rest of the year, prices for finished energy goods decreased in 2008 by 20.3 percent.
Despite lower production in 2008 and mixed data on stocks compared with a year earlier, the average price of gasoline fell 59.5 percent in the final 5 months of 2008 to close the year 51.4 percent lower than it was at the end of 2007.
The index for heating oil declined sharply over the last 5 months of 2008 to end the year well below 2007 levels.
The index for liquefied petroleum gas fell 64.1 percent in 2008 after having risen 59.1 percent in 2007. As was the case with most other energy products, a large gain in the first part of 2008 was outweighed by significant decreases during the remainder of the year.
The indexes for utility natural gas—natural gas that is distributed to electric utilities and industrial, commercial, and residential buyers—all increased in 2008 after having fallen in 2007.
The index for residential electric power moved up more in 2008 than it had a year earlier.
These data are from the BLS Producer Price Indexes program. Year-over-year percentage changes are not seasonally adjusted. The 7-month and 5-month percentage changes are seasonally adjusted. More information about producer prices for various goods and services can be found in "Producer prices reverse course in 2008" (PDF), by Joseph Kowal, William Snyders, Antonio Lombardozzi, and Lana Borgie in the July 2009 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.