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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Continue to Increase; Nonoil Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  May 12, 2016

Import prices increased 0.3% during April (-5.7% y/y) following a 0.3% March rise, revised from 0.2%. The increase was softer than the 0.6% gain expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Petroleum import prices strengthened 4.1% (-37.4% y/y) following a 9.6% jump, revised from 6.5%. Nonpetroleum import prices improved 0.1% (-2.2% y/y) following a 0.1% dip, revised from -0.2%. It was the first rise in prices since March 2014. Foods, feeds & beverage prices jumped 1.3% (-2.2% y/y) following a 0.4% shortfall. Nonoil industrial supplies & materials costs increased 0.4% (-7.9% y/y), the first rise since December 2014. Motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.1% (-0.8% y/y) for a second month. Capital goods prices were off 0.1% (-2.0% y/y), and they've been falling steadily since August 2014. Nonauto consumer goods prices dropped 0.3% (-0.4% y/y) for the second straight month.

Export prices increased 0.5% (-5.0% y/y) following an unrevised no change. It was the first increase since May last year. No change had been expected.

Agricultural commodity prices rose 0.5% (-9.7% y/y) after a 2.3% decline. Nonagricultural commodity prices also improved 0.5 (-4.6% y/y) following a 0.3% increase. Industrial supplies & materials costs jumped 1.2% (-12.5% y/y) after a 0.6% rise. Foods, feeds & beverage prices rebounded 0.8% (-9.4% y/y) following a 2.3% decline. Capital goods prices rose 0.4% (-0.1% y/y) after smaller increases in the previous two months. Motor vehicle & parts prices remained unchanged (-0.7% y/y) following two declines of 0.2%. Nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-1.8% y/y) on the heels of a 0.1% uptick.

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, %) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 0.3 0.3 -0.5 -5.7 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum 4.1 9.6 -7.3 -37.4 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.1 -0.1 -0.2 -2.2 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 0.5 0.0 -0.4 -5.0 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural 0.5 -2.3 0.6 -9.7 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 0.5 0.3 -0.6 -4.6 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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