The propagation of inhomogeneous plane waves in a compressible viscous fluid is considered. The frequency and the slowness vector are both allowed to be complex. There are seen to be two types of solutions: (a) two transverse waves, which involve no density or pressure fluctuations, (b) a longitudinal wave, which involves no fluctuations in vorticity. For each type, a propagation condition is obtained giving the (complex) squared length of the slowness vector as a function of frequency. Each depends also on the viscosities. It is seen how to recover the incompressible case as the limit in which the inviscid acoustic wave speed tends to infinity. Each wave is shown to be linearly stable for real frequencies. These waves are attenuated in space and time but nevertheless it is possible to define constant weighted mean values (over a cycle of the propagating part of the wave) of the energy density, energy flux and dissipation. The energy-dissipation equation and the propagation conditions are used to derive relationships between these constant weighted means, some of which are generalizations to compressible fluids of previously known results for incompressible fluids. Explicit expressions in terms of frequency are given for the weighted means.