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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Increase Led by Oil; Export Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  October 13, 2016

Import prices notched 0.1% higher (-1.1% y/y) during September following an unrevised 0.2% August decline. The increase matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

A 1.2% increase in petroleum import prices (-2.4% y/y) led the rise in the overall price index, as it followed a 3.0% decline. Nonpetroleum import prices remained unchanged (-0.8% y/y) for the second straight month. Prices for non-oil industrial supplies & materials declined 0.6% (-1.0% y/y), and reversed the prior month's rise. Foods, feeds & beverage costs gained 0.6% (1.3% y/y) after a 0.9% drop. Motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.2% (-0.5% y/y) following two months of decline. Nonauto consumer goods prices remained unchanged (-0.5% y/y) after falling for three months. Capital goods prices improved 0.1% (-1.5% y/y), the first increase since June 2014. Capital goods prices excluding computers, peripherals & semiconductors also increased 0.1% (-1.2% y/y) for a second month.

Export prices increased 0.3% (-1.5% y/y) following an unrevised 0.8% decline. A 0.1% dip had been expected.

A 0.4% increase (-1.4% y/y) in nonagricultural commodity prices led the rise in the overall index, as it followed a 0.6% decline. Agricultural goods costs fell 1.0% (-3.2% y/y), down for the third straight month. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 0.9% (-2.6% y/y) following a 3.7% fall. Industrial supplies & materials costs rebounded 1.2% (-2.7% y/y), and recovered the August drop. Nonauto consumer goods prices improved 0.2% (-1.3% y/y) after a 0.2% decline. Capital goods prices remained unchanged (-0.6% y/y) following two months of decline. Motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.1% (-1.1% y/y) after a 0.6% drop.

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, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 0.1 -0.2 0.1 -1.1 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum 1.2 -3.0 -3.1 -2.4 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.0 0.0 0.5 -0.8 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 0.3 -0.8 0.2 -1.5 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural -1.0 -3.5 -0.3 -3.2 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 0.4 -0.6 0.3 -1.4 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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