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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Continue Lower
by Tom Moeller  August 10, 2012

U.S. import prices fell 0.6% during July following a 2.4% June decline, revised from -2.7%. A 0.2% uptick had been expected. Prices continued lower in most categories. Petroleum prices declined 1.6% (-12.3% y/y), off for the fourth straight month. Nonpetroleum import prices also fell 0.3% (-0.5% y/y) led down by a 1.2% drop (-3.4% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages. Prices for nonoil industrial supplies also were soft, posting a 1.2% drop (-5.3% y/y). Capital goods prices slipped 0.1% (+0.4% y/y) as computers, peripherals & semiconductor costs fell 0.2% (-1.6% y/y) and other capital goods prices were unchanged (1.4% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices ticked 0.1% lower (+1.3% y/y) but prices for automotive vehicles, part & engines rose 0.4% (1.6% y/y). 

U.S. export prices rose 0.5% (-1.2% y/y) as agricultural export costs jumped 6.4% (4.3% y/y). Drought conditions through much of the country raised  wheat & rice prices 14.1% (12.4% y/y), soybean costs 14.7% (15.8% y/y) and feed prices 13.5% (11.3% y/y). Nonagricultural commodities prices were off 0.3% (-1.9% y/y) led lower by a 0.6% drop (-0.5% y/y) in nonauto consumer goods. Prices of industrial supplies fell 0.3% (-7.0% y/y) and capital goods prices slipped 0.1% (+1.1% y/y). Auto prices increased 0.2% (2.2% 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 daily figure are in DAILY. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database. 

 

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Imports - All Commodities -0.6 -2.4 -1.5 -3.2 10.9 6.9 -11.5
  Petroleum -1.6 -9.3 -5.8 -12.3 36.5 28.4 -35.9
  Nonpetroleum -0.3 -0.3 -0.1 -0.5 4.5 2.8 -4.1
Exports - All Commodities 0.5 -1.7 -0.5 -1.2 8.1 4.9 -4.6
  Agricultural 6.4 -3.6 0.5 4.3 22.3 7.9 -12.8
  Nonagricultural -0.3 -1.5 -0.5 -1.9 6.6 4.6 -3.7
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