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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Continue to Rise With Oil; Nonoil Prices Are Strengthening
by Tom Moeller  June 14, 2016

Import prices jumped 1.4% during May (-5.0% y/y) following an upwardly revised 0.7% April rise. It was the strongest increase since March 2012, and double the 0.7% gain expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Petroleum import prices firmed 17.4% (-29.1% y/y) following two months of strong gain. Nonpetroleum import prices increased 0.4% (-1.9% y/y). It was the first rise in prices since March 2014. Nonoil industrial supplies & materials costs jumped 1.6% (-6.4% y/y), only the second rise since December 2014. Foods, feeds & beverage costs rose 0.3% (-1.9% y/y) following three months of decline. Motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.2% (-0.6% y/y), the firmest rise since April 2014. Nonauto consumer goods prices ticked 0.1% higher (-0.3% y/y). Capital goods prices remained unchanged (-1.9% y/y), after falling steadily since August 2014.

Export prices increased 1.1% (-4.5% y/y) following an unrevised 0.5% rise. It was the firmest gain since March 2011. A 0.3% increase had been expected.

Agricultural commodity prices rose 2.9% (-5.4% y/y) after a 0.8% increase. Nonagricultural commodity prices improved 1.0% (-4.4% y/y) following a 0.4% increase. Foods, feeds & beverage prices strengthened 2.9% (-5.2% y/y) following a 0.9% gain. Industrial supplies & materials costs also jumped 2.9% (-11.8% y/y) after a 1.1% rise. Nonauto consumer goods prices improved 0.2% (-1.9% y/y) after a 0.1% easing. Capital goods prices rose 0.1% (-0.2% y/y) following a 0.2% rise. Motor vehicle & parts prices eased 0.1% (-0.9% y/y), the third decline this year.

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, %) May Apr Mar May Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 1.4 0.7 0.4 -5.0 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum 17.4 11.0 10.7 -29.1 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.4 0.0 -0.1 -1.9 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 1.1 0.5 -0.1 -4.5 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural 2.9 0.8 -2.2 -5.4 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 1.0 0.4 0.2 -4.4 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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