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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Jumped Again in June
by Tom Moeller July 13, 2007

Surging petroleum prices fueled a 1.0% jump in overall import prices last month. The jump was about equal to the May rise and easily beat Consensus expectations for a 0.6% gain.

The increase occurred as petroleum import prices surged 4.7% in June after sharp increases during five of the prior six months. Further increases in July in the price of Brent crude oil to $77.12 from an average $71.0 during June promise another price gain this month.

Less petroleum import prices rose a modest 0.2 following the May jump of 0.5%. During the last ten years there has been a 66% (negative) correlation between the nominal trade-weighted exchange value of the US dollar vs. major currencies and the y/y change in non oil import prices. The correlation is a lower 47% against a broader basket of currencies.

Why a Dollar Depreciation May Not Close the U.S. Trade Deficit from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here

Prices for industrial supplies & materials surged 2.6% (4.4% y/y) due to surge in oil prices. Less oil these prices rose 0.5% (7.5% y/y).

Capital goods prices rose 0.2% (-0.1% y/y) after no change in May. Computers, peripheral and semiconductors fell 0.1% (-5.2% y/y) and less high tech, capital goods prices were unchanged (3.1% y/y). Prices for nonauto consumer goods were unchanged (1.5% y/y).

Export prices rose 0.3%. Nonagricultural export prices rose just 0.1% (2.9% y/y).

Import/Export Prices (NSA) June May Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Import - All Commodities 1.0% 1.1% 2.3% 4.9% 7.5% 5.6%
  Petroleum 4.7% 3.7% 2.1% 20.6% 37.6% 30.5%
  Non-petroleum 0.2% 0.5% 2.6% 1.7% 2.7% 2.6%
Export- All Commodities 0.3% 0.2% 4.1% 3.6% 3.2% 3.9%
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