Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Electricity Retail Sales, Industrial

This chart shows the change in electricity retail sales for industrial purposes from one year to the next (as measured in watt-hours). It is current to June, 2007. The shaded areas represent recessions. Our last consumer recession was 1990-1991.

Stocks Gain Slightly on Negative Data
"I think everybody is stunned by some of the retail information," said Cummins Catherwood, managing director at Rutherford, Brown & Catherwood in Philadelphia. "There's a caution in the air, but they're not all running and hiding."

Source Data:
Energy Information Administration
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


Anonymous said...

I'd say this is a pretty good indicator.

I am in the business.

Stagflationary Mark said...

It certainly has a sliding down a slope of hope look to it, just like 1988 to 1990.

It is hard to know for sure, since I for one am using less electricity (since replacing many of my bulbs with more efficient ones).

Rob Dawg said...

It's a good indicator but... Caution is warranted because of the increasing ability of large consumers to hedge between multiple primary energy sources. Cheap natgas could cause primary electricty to go down for instance. Also the price of electricity seems to be outpacing over the long term other energy, that might account for a growing economy using less energy if you draw a general trend.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

Natural Gas has been rising a lot faster than electricity in recent years. At today's prices, it has nearly tripled since 2000.

Oil is clearly way, way up.

I would argue electricity is much cheaper relative to the other forms of energy (even as electricity continues to climb). It is "only" up 25-35% since 2000. If anything, I would expect industry to embrace electricity with open arms now.

Just my 2 cents.