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Economy in Brief

Import Prices Up Slightly
by Tom Moeller August 12, 2004

Import prices rose 0.2% last month following a 0.1% dip in June.The Consensus expectation had been for a 0.4% rise.

Non-petroleum import prices rose a slight 0.1% after being unchanged in June. Capital goods prices fell for the third month in the last four (-1.7% y/y) but capital goods prices excluding computers rose 0.4% (+0.8% y/y), up due to higher prices for electric generating equipment (+0.8% y/y). Non-auto consumer goods prices were unchanged (+0.4% y/y) as they have been for most of this year.

Petroleum prices rose recouped all of the prior month's 0.9% decline and have moved higher in August. The price of Brent crude rose to $43.30 yesterday and has averaged nearly $43.00 versus $38.10 in July.

Export prices rose 0.4%, led higher by a 0.6% jump in nonagricultural export prices (+3.5% y/y).

Import/Export Prices (NSA) July June Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Import - All Commodities 0.2% -0.1% 5.5% 2.9% -2.5% -3.5%
  Petroleum 0.9% -0.9% 29.5% 21.0% 3.0% -17.2%
  Non-petroleum 0.1% 0.0% 2.4% 1.1% -2.4% -1.5%
Export - All Commodities 0.4% -0.7% 4.4% 1.6% -1.0% -0.8%
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