Recent Updates

  • China: 70-City Property Prices (Nov)
  • Serbia: Labor Cost Index (Q3); CPI (NOV)
  • Czech Republic: Mortgage Loans (Q3)
  • US: IP & Capacity Utilization, Advance Retail Sales (Nov), ECEC (Q3)
  • US: Manufacturing and Composite PMI (Nov)
  • Albania: Wage Indexes (Q3); Production Index (Q3)
  • Canada: National Balance Sheet & Flow of Funds (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Import & Export Prices Continue Strong
by Tom Moeller   May 10, 2011

Pricing strength amongst internationally traded U.S. products has been pronounced this year and last. Overall U.S. import prices last month jumped another 2.2% after a little-revised 2.6% March increase. The gain was stronger than Consensus expectations for a 1.8% rise.

It's no news that petroleum price strength continued last month. The 7.2% gain in oil import prices raised them more than one-third above last year as Brent crude oil rose to an average $122.68 per barrel (44.8% y/y). Also strong were non-oil import prices which rose 0.6% and 4.3% y/y as weakness in the dollar's value continued. (The y/y change in non-oil import prices during the last ten years has had an 81% inverse correlation with the nominal trade-weighted exchange value of the US dollar vs. major currencies.)

Earlier strength in imported food & beverage prices continued with a 1.8% April increase (19.6% y/y). Prices for nonoil industrial supplies jumped 1.3% (12.0% y/y). Elsewhere there was less strength as prices for non-auto consumer goods rose 0.4% (0.6% y/y). Apparel prices rose 1.0% (6.2% y/y) and furniture prices rose 0.7% (3.3% y/y) but home entertainment equipment prices declined 1.1% and by 10.7% y/y. Imported auto prices rose 0.4% (1.8% y/y) while imported capital goods prices ticked up 0.1% (1.0% y/y). Computer & peripherals prices slipped 0.5% during April (-3.8% y/y) but excluding computers, capital goods prices rose 0.4% (3.0% y/y).

U.S. export prices again were strong with a 1.1% gain (9.6% y/y). The strength reflected a more than one-third y/y increase in agricultural prices. Non-agricultural goods prices also were strong with a 1.0% gain (6.9% y/y). Strength has been notable for industrial supplies, up 20.5% y/y, and non-auto consumer goods (3.2% y/y).

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 is in the AS1REPNA database

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Imports - All Commodities 2.2 2.6 1.7 11.1 6.9 -11.5 11.5
  Petroleum 7.2 9.8 5.5 36.8 28.4 -35.9 37.7
  Nonpetroleum 0.6 0.4 0.7 4.3 2.8 -4.1 5.3
Exports - All Commodities 1.1 1.5 1.4 9.6 4.9 -4.6 6.0
  Agricultural 0.6 2.2 4.6 35.3 7.9 -12.8 21.6
  Nonagricultural 1.0 1.4 1.0 6.9 4.6 -3.7 4.5
close
large image