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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Continue to Fall
by Tom Moeller  March 11, 2016

Import prices declined 0.3% during February (-6.1% y/y) following a 1.0% January decline, revised from -1.1%. A 0.8% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Petroleum import prices fell 4.0% (-38.5% y/y) following a 14.3% drop, revised from -13.4%. Nonpetroleum import prices were off 0.1% (-2.9% y/y) after being revised to no change. These prices have not risen m/m since March of 2014. Foods, feeds & beverages fell 2.0% (-5.1% y/y), the largest one-month drop in four years. Nonoil industrial supplies & materials prices declined 0.3% (-10.7% y/y) while motor vehicle & parts prices eased 0.1% lower (-0.8% y/y). Capital goods prices remained unchanged (-2.1% y/y), and nonauto consumer goods prices increased 0.3% (unchanged y/y).

Export prices declined 0.4% (-6.0% y/y) after an unrevised 0.8% decline. It was the ninth drop in as many months. A 0.5% decline was expected.

Industrial supplies & materials export prices fell 2.0% (-15.0% y/y) after a 2.1% decline. Motor vehicle & pars prices were off 0.2% (-0.4% y/y) while nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-2.3% y/y). Working the other way, foods, feeds & beverages prices increased 0.9% (-10.1% y/y) and capital goods prices rose 0.3% (-0.6% y/y). Agricultural commodities prices increased 0.6% (-10.4% y/y) while nonagricultural commodity prices fell 0.4% (-5.6% y/y). They have been falling for nine months.

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, %) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities -0.3 -1.0 -1.2 -6.1 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum -4.0 -14.3 -10.5 -38.5 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum -0.1 0.0 -0.4 -2.9 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities -0.4 -0.8 -1.1 -6.0 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural 0.6 -1.3 -0.9 -10.4 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural -0.4 -0.9 -1.1 -5.6 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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