May saw a moderate increase in prices, which stood at 1.7 percent, this was in stark contrast to the large drop in April. The main reason for the moderate price increase in May was the fact that crude oil and natural gas pulled in different direction. The combination of these two produced a very small increase at 0.3 percent in May, compared to a fall of nearly 18 percent in April. This pattern is also evident across the whole energy goods spectrum, where prices were close to stable from April to May. Only Electricity, gas and steam: In Norway, production and distribution of electricity are the principal parts of this group had some movement, at a negative 4.4 percent. For the manufacturing sector, one of the industries with a large downturn was the beverage industry. However, this was countered by large increases in other manufacturing industries, particularly in chemical industry, and in the food industry, the latter with prices rising 4.2 percent in May.

Figure 1. Producer Price index, 2015=100

Record high price increase in the food industry

This increase for the food industry in May was particularly high. This is the highest monthly increase for this group since a larger restructuring of the PPI in 2001. The food industry consists of several sub-categories. Among these we find meat and meat products, seafood as well as fruit and vegetables. Most of these had moderate price increases, but one category stood out, namely the seafood industry. This group had an increase of 9.5 percent in May. As this is a large group within the food industry, it contributed a lot to the total increase, especially on the export market.

For the rest of the manufacturing industry, we saw an especially high price increase in chemical industry, which increased by 12.6 percent. Within this industry, the price index on chemical raw materials was the largest contributor, with an increase of 15.3 percent from April to May. But the price increase accelerated in other industries as well. Among these we find the wood and wood product industry, rubber and plastics industry and the mineral products industry. On the side of downward prices, the beverage industry had a substantial fall at 7.7 percent.