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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Rise Driven by Nonpetroleum Products; Oil Costs Decline
by Tom Moeller  August 11, 2016

Import prices edged 0.1% higher (-3.7% y/y) during July following a 0.6% June gain, revised from 0.2%. The rise compared to expectations for a 0.4% fall in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

A 3.6% decline in petroleum import prices (-23.1% y/y) held back the overall price rise. Nonpetroleum import prices rose 0.5% (-1.3% y/y) after a 0.3% decline. The increase was the largest since April 2011. Higher prices for non-oil industrial supplies & materials costs drove the increase. They surged 2.1% (-3.4% y/y) following a 0.4% decline. Foods, feeds & beverage costs jumped 3.3% (1.4% y/y), the largest increase since March 2014. Motor vehicle & parts prices fell 0.3% (-0.8% y/y) following no change. Nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-0.4% y/y), down for the fourth month in the last five. Capital goods prices also were off 0.1% (-1.9% y/y), and they have been falling since 2013. Capital goods prices excluding computers, peripherals & semiconductors also eased 0.1% (-1.6% y/y).

Export prices increased 0.2% (-3.0% y/y) following an unrevised 0.8% rise. A 0.1% decline had been expected.

Nonagricultural commodity prices improved 0.3% (-3.0% y/y) following a 0.5% increase. Agricultural goods costs eased 0.4% (-2.6% y/y) following three months of strong increase. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 0.8% (-2.5% y/y) following a 2.6% gain. Industrial supplies & materials costs increased 0.8% (-7.5% y/y) after a 0.8% rise. Nonauto consumer goods prices improved 0.5% (-1.8% y/y) after a 0.4% decline. Capital goods prices slipped 0.1% (-0.5% y/y) following two months of no change. Motor vehicle & parts prices remained unchanged (-0.5% y/y) for the third month in four.

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, %) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 0.1 0.6 1.2 -3.7 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum -3.6 10.6 13.9 -23.1 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.5 -0.3 0.4 -1.3 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 0.2 0.8 1.1 -3.0 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -0.4 2.6 3.0 -2.6 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 0.3 0.5 1.0 -3.0 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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