December 23, 2013 – 2:39 PM
By Terence P. Jeffrey
CNSNews.com) – Turning on the Christmas lights on a house or a Christmas tree this November cost Americans more on average than it has before, as the seasonally adjusted electricity price index hit an all-time high in the United States in November, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity also set a record for the month of November, according to BLS.
During the year, electricity prices tend to bottom out in the late fall, winter and early spring and hit a peak in the summer. Electricity prices followed that pattern this year, but in each month of the year they set a record for that particular month—n.b. electricity was more expensive in January 2013 than in any previous January, etc.
This November, the average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity was 13.0 cents. That was down from the 13.2 cents in October and 13.7 cents in June, July, August and September. But it was the most a KWH of electricity has ever cost on average in the month of November since BLS started reporting the average price of KWH of electricity in November 1978.
The BLS has set the 36 months from January 1982 to December 1984 as the base period for its price indexes, including the electricity index. The average index level for that period is set at 100.
“By using seasonally adjusted data, some users find it easier to see the underlying trend in short-term price changes,” says BLS in explaining its seasonally adjusted indexes. “It is often difficult to tell from raw (unadjusted) statistics whether developments between any 2 months reflect changing economic conditions or only normal seasonal patterns. Therefore, many economic series, including the CPI, are adjusted to remove the effect of seasonal influences–those which occur at the same time and in about the same magnitude every year. Among these influences are price movements resulting from changing weather conditions, production cycles, changeovers of models, and holidays.”