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Economy in Brief

Import Price Gain All Oil
by Tom Moeller November 10, 2004

Import prices rose jumped 1.5% last month versus the Consensus expectation for a 1.0% gain. All of the increase reflected higher oil prices while non-petroleum prices fell.

Non-petroleum import prices fell in October the first down month in a year. Capital goods prices fell 0.2% (-1.3% y/y) due to a 0.6% decline in computer prices (-6.5% y/y). Capital goods prices excluding computers rose 0.1% (+1.5% y/y). Non-auto consumer goods prices were again unchanged (+0.5% y/y), flat or down in each month since January.

Petroleum prices rose sharply as crude oil prices surged. The price of Brent crude oil in November has retraced its prior month's strength.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 55% correlation between the level of the dollar and the y/y change in nonpetroleum import prices.

Export prices jumped 0.7% as nonagricultural prices surged 1.0% (5.2% y/y). Prices of industrial supplies and materials jumped 2.4% (15.3% y/y).

Import/Export Prices (NSA) Oct Sept Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Import - All Commodities 1.5% 0.5% 9.7% 2.9% -2.5% -3.5%
  Petroleum 11.7% 2.8% 67.6% 21.0% 3.0% -17.2%
  Non-petroleum -0.2% 0.0% 2.7% 1.1% -2.4% -1.5%
Export - All Commodities 0.7% 0.4% 4.5% 1.6% -1.0% -0.8%
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