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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Decline Remains Broad-Based
by Tom Moeller  January 14, 2016

Import prices declined 1.2% during December (-8.2% y/y) following a 0.5% November easing, revised from -0.4%. A 1.4% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Petroleum prices fell 10.0% following a 3.6% decline, revised from -2.5%. Nonpetroleum import prices were off 0.4% (-3.7% y/y) after an unrevised 0.3% drop. These prices have not risen m/m since March of 2004. A 1.4% decline (-12.5% y/y) in prices of nonoil supplies & materials led the way lower followed by a 0.3% drop (-2.5% y/y) in capital goods prices. Foods, feeds & beverage prices eased 0.1% (-5.2% y/y) as did prices for automotive vehicles & parts (-1.9% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices slipped 0.1% (-0.8% y/y) for a second straight month.

Export prices were off 1.1% last month (-6.5% y/y) after a 0.7% decline, revised from -0.6%. Expectations had been for a 0.5% shortfall. A 2.9% decline (-15.4% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials prices led the way lower. Building materials prices, however, increased 0.8% (-5.4% y/y), the third straight month of gain. Excluding fuels & building materials costs, export prices fell 1.4% (-9.1% y/y). Foods, feeds & beverages prices were off 1.1% (-13.3% y/y) and capital goods costs eased 0.2% (-0.4% y/y). Automotive vehicles & parts prices remained unchanged (-0.4% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices were off 0.4% (-2.4% y/y).

The import and export price series can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed figures are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

Economic Conditions and Monetary Policy in a Changing World is Monday's speech by Dallas Fed President Robert Steven Kaplan and it can be found here.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities -1.2 -0.5 -0.4 -8.2 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum -10.0 -3.6 -0.2 -41.3 -45.9 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum -0.4 -0.3 -0.4 -3.7 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities -1.1 -0.7 -0.2 -6.5 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -1.0 -0.9 0.1 -13.0 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural -1.0 -0.7 -0.3 -5.9 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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