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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Fall As Petroleum Prices Ease; Export Prices Also Decline
by Tom Moeller  July 18, 2017

Import prices declined 0.2% during June (+1.5% y/y) following a 0.1% May dip, revised from -0.3%. The Action Economics Forecast Survey also expected a 0.2% fall. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Petroleum import prices fell 2.2% (+4.5% y/y), the fourth consecutive month of decline. Nonpetroleum import prices ticked 0.1% higher following no change. Among end-use categories, industrial supplies & materials prices excluding petroleum eased -0.1% (+6.5% y/y) after a 0.5% decline. Amongst other detail categories, foods, feeds and beverages prices rose 0.9% (5.6% y/y) after a 1.0% improvement. Capital goods prices gained 0.2% (-0.1% y/y) following no change. To the downside, motor vehicle & parts prices eased 0.2% (-0.1% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick. The cost of consumer goods excluding automobiles slipped 0.1% (-0.1% y/y) after stability in May.

Export prices fell 0.2% (+0.6% y/y) last month, the second straight month of decline. The Action Economics Survey expected a 0.1% dip. Agricultural commodity prices and nonagricultural prices were weak. Agricultural commodities fell 1.5% pulling prices down 3.9% y/y. Nonagricultural export prices held steady, up 1.1% y/y.

Among the end-use categories for exports, overall foods, feeds & beverage prices dropped 1.6% (-4.2% y/y) following a 2.0% decline. Industrial supplies & materials remained unchanged (3.4% y/y) after a 1.3% drop. Nonagricultural supplies & materials prices excluding fuels & building materials improved 0.1% (1.4% y/y) after two months of sharp decline. Motor vehicles and parts prices slipped 0.1% (0.0% y/y) after stability during May. Capital goods prices held steady (0.6% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods rose 0.2% (-1.9% y/y) following a 0.1% dip. Auto prices eased 0.1% in June (0.0% y/y) after holding steady during the prior month.

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, %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Imports - All Commodities -0.2 -0.1 0.2 1.5 -3.3 -10.2 -1.1
  Petroleum -2.2 -1.5 -0.4 4.5 -19.7 -46.0 -5.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.1 0.0 0.3 1.4 -1.5 -2.8 0.1
Exports - All Commodities -0.2 -0.6 0.2 0.6 -3.2 -6.3 -0.5
  Agricultural -1.5 -1.6 0.1 -3.9 -5.4 -13.3 -2.7
  Nonagricultural 0.0 -0.4 0.3 1.1 -3.0 -5.5 -0.3
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