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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Rise With Higher Oil Costs; Nonoil Prices Continue Falling
by Tom Moeller  April 12, 2016

Import prices improved 0.2% during March (-6.2% y/y) following a 0.4% February decline, revised from -0.3%. The increase was much softer than the 1.0% rise expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Petroleum import prices rebounded 6.5% (-39.5% y/y) following a 6.2% drop, revised from -4.0%. Nonpetroleum import prices were off 0.2% (-2.7% y/y) after two straight 0.1% dips. These prices have not risen m/m since March of 2014. Foods, feeds & beverage prices fell 0.6% (-4.6% y/y). Nonoil industrial supplies & materials costs remained unchanged (-9.3% y/y) while motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.1% (-0.9% y/y). Capital goods prices were off 0.1% (-2.1% y/y), and nonauto consumer goods prices dropped 0.3% (-0.1% y/y), the first decline since August.

Export prices remained unchanged following a 0.5% decline, earlier reported as -0.4%. A 0.2% decline was expected. Prices have fallen 12.4% since the peak in March 2014.

Agricultural commodities prices declined 2.5% (-11.1% y/y) while nonagricultural commodity prices improved 0.3% (-5.6% y/y), the first increase since May. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 2.5% (-11.3% y/y) and motor vehicle & pars prices were off 0.2% (-0.7% y/y), the fifth decline in six months. Working the other way, industrial supplies & materials prices rose 0.7% (-14.5% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices gained 0.1% (-2.0% y/y). Capital goods prices remained unchanged (-0.6% y/y) after a 0.3% rise.

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, %) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 0.2 -0.4 -1.3 -6.2 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum 6.5 -6.2 -17.2 -39.5 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 -2.7 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 0.0 -0.5 -0.8 -6.1 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -2.5 0.6 -1.3 -11.1 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 0.3 -0.5 -0.9 -5.6 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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