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October's Electric and Gas Rates

October’s Consumer Price Index was reported on November 14. The overall CPI, for all goods and services, was up 3.2 percent as compared with a year earlier – October 2022. This follows the recent trend of moderating inflation.

The bellwether CPI for all items less food and energy was up 4.0 percent as compared with a year earlier. This stat has two components. Prices for commodities less food and energy commodities remained steady year-over-year, with a slight 0.1 percent increase. While prices for services less energy services were up 5.5 percent. Including prices for shelter, which were up 6.7 percent, and transportation services, which were up 9.2 percent.

Food and energy prices are no longer driving inflation. Food prices were up 3.3 percent, virtually the same rate as the overall CPI. And energy prices were down 4.5 percent, pulling downward the overall CPI.

Prices for energy services were down 2.3 percent. Why? Well, the average price for utility natural gas service was down 15.8 percent as compared with a year earlier. And the average price for utility electric service was up 2.4 percent, well less than the overall CPI increase of 3.2 percent noted above.

A key reason is that the prices that powerplants pay for the natural gas that many plants combust to generate power continue to fall and were down again in October, 0.8 percent, as compared with a year earlier. This according to October’s Producer Price Index reported on November 15.