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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Slip with Lower Fuel Costs; Export Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 14, 2016

Import prices eased 0.2% during August (-2,2% y/y) following an unrevised 0.1% July gain. The rise compared to expectations for no change in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

A 2.8% decline in petroleum import prices (-12.9% y/y) held back the overall import price index. Nonpetroleum import prices remained unchanged (-0.9% y/y) after a 0.5% increase. Prices for non-oil industrial supplies & materials increased 0.6% (-1.0% y/y) following a 2.2% jump. Foods, feeds & beverage costs declined 0.5% (+0.6% y/y) after a 3.1% surge. Motor vehicle & parts prices fell 0.2% (-0.8% y/y) for a second straight month. Nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-0.4% y/y), down for the fifth month in the last six. Capital goods prices remained unchanged (-1.8% y/y), and they have been falling since 2013. Capital goods prices excluding computers, peripherals & semiconductors increased 0.2% (-1.1% y/y) following no change.

Export prices declined 0.8% (-2.4% y/y) following an unrevised 0.2% rise. No change in prices had been expected.

Nonagricultural commodity prices declined 0.4% (-2.2% y/y) following a 0.2% increase. Agricultural goods costs fell 3.4% (-3.5% y/y) following a 0.3% dip. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 3.5% (-2.9% y/y) following a 0.4% fall. Industrial supplies & materials costs were off 1.2% (-5.1% y/y), the first decline in six months. Nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-1.5% y/y) after a 0.5% increase. Capital goods prices slipped 0.1% (-0.7% y/y), down for the third straight month. Motor vehicle & parts prices fell 0.5% (-1.1% y/y) following no change.

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, %) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities -0.2 0.1 0.7 -2.2 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum -2.8 -3.6 11.4 -12.9 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.0 0.5 -0.2 -0.9 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities -0.8 0.2 0.7 -2.4 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -3.4 -0.3 2.5 -3.5 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural -0.4 0.2 0.5 -2.2 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
 
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