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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Decline Steadily
by Tom Moeller  February 12, 2016

Import prices declined 1.1% during January (-6.2% y/y), the same as in December, revised from -1.2%. A 1.5% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Petroleum prices fell 13.4% (-35.3% y/y) following a 9.2% drop, revised from -10.0%. Nonpetroleum import prices were off 0.2% (-3.1% y/y) after an unrevised 0.4% shortfall. These prices have not risen m/m since March of 2004. A 1.4% decline (-12.0% y/y) in prices of nonoil industrial supplies & materials led the way lower followed by a 0.2% drop (-2.4% y/y) in capital goods prices. Foods, feeds & beverage prices improved 0.6% (-3.3% y/y). Prices of automotive vehicles & parts gained 0.2% (-1.9% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices edged 0.1% higher (-0.3% y/y), continuing five months of little change.

Export prices were off 0.8% last month (-5.7% y/y) after an unrevised 1.1% drop. Expectations had been for a 0.6% shortfall. A 2.0% decline (-12.8% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials prices led the way lower. Building materials prices, however, increased 0.3% (-5.2% y/y), the fourth straight month of gain. Excluding fuels & building materials costs, export prices fell 0.3% (-8.6% y/y). Foods, feeds & beverages prices were off 1.6% (-13.0% y/y) and capital goods costs eased 0.1% (-0.7% y/y). Automotive vehicles & parts prices gained 0.1% (-0.4% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices were off 0.4% (-2.2% y/y). Agricultural prices fell 1.1% (-12.7% y/y) and nonagricultural costs declined 0.8% (-5.0% 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.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities -1.1 -1.1 -0.6 -6.2 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum -13.4 -9.2 -4.2 -35.3 -45.9 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum -0.2 -0.4 -0.2 -3.1 -2.7 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities -0.8 -1.1 -0.7 -5.7 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -1.1 -1.0 -0.9 -12.7 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural -0.8 -1.1 -0.7 -5.0 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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