Energy prices increased in April
The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased by 3.3 per cent in April, mainly due to higher prices on energy goods. While higher prices on natural gas and crude oil caused a rise in Norway’s PPI, lower prices on electricity curbed the overall growth somewhat.
The price of crude oil increased to above 70 USD per barrel in April and together with a relatively sharp increase in the price of natural gas this caused the overall increase in the PPI from March to April. While several factors influenced the development of the crude oil price, the increase in the price of natural gas could be influenced by the cold weather in Europe this winter.
The increase from March to April continues the trend in the PPI over the previous year, in which the PPI rose by approximately 12 per cent. The last time the PPI was at a similar level as April 2018, was during the early winter of 2014. That was also when the price of crude oil still was above 100 USD per barrel.
Another group of energy goods is electricity, which experienced a decline in prices of 6.5 per cent from March to April. Electricity prices tend to fall during spring months following higher levels during winter months. Prior to the fall in prices from March to April, electricity prices in the PPI rose continuously since October 2017, and are about 29 per cent higher than April 2017.
Energy goods excluded, the PPI remained about unchanged from March to April.
Figure 1. Price indices, 2010 = 100
|Energy goods||PPI total|
Small change within manufacturing
The prices within manufacturing as a whole were characterised by small price changes over the previous months, although they are still 4.3 per cent higher than in April 2017. The main part of this increase came in the period September 2017 to January 2018. During this period prices on important manufacturing products such as basic metals, refined petroleum products and basic chemicals grew. Prices of food product on the other hand have experienced continuous growth since October 2017. Together with refined petroleum products and non-metallic mineral products they made up an important contribution to the overall growth in manufacturing prices which rose 0.5 per cent from March to April.
Figure 2. Price index, 2015 = 100