Producers and others along the natural gas value chain are apprehensive about the substantial shift in trading momentum this year, but the sector’s price slump is playing an outsized role in drawing down inflation and easing recession worries.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday its Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at a 3.1% rate in the 12-month period through November. That was down from 3.2% the prior month and 6.5% at the end of 2022. Inflation surged to a 40-year peak of 9.1% earlier last year.

Lower energy costs overall – and natural gas prices in particular – have driven the deceleration in inflation. The energy index declined 5.4% in the year through November, while the energy commodity index dropped 9.8%. The natural gas index declined 10.4%.

Over the...