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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Ease With Lower Oil Prices
by Tom Moeller  December 12, 2012

Declines in petroleum prices lowered overall U.S. import costs by 0.9% last month and by 1.6% y/y. That followed a 0.3% October rise, initially reported as 1.5%. The Action Economics survey looked for a 0.5% fall. Petroleum prices led the decline with a 3.6% drop (-7.0% y/y) after prices fell 0.2% during October.

Nonpetroleum import prices slipped 0.1% and were unchanged y/y. The decline was led by a 1.3% drop (-2.1% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages prices. Computers, peripheral & semiconductor costs also fell by 0.6% (-0.9% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices slipped 0.1% (+0.3% y/y). Nonoil industrial supplies & material prices rose 0.5% (-1.6% y/y). Automotive vehicle costs were unchanged (1.6% y/y) as were capital goods prices (1.0% y/y) outside the high-tech area.

U.S. export prices fell 0.7% (+0.7% y/y) in November, led lower by a nonagricultural commodity prices which also were down 0.7% (-0.4% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices were off 0.2% (-0.2% y/y) but capital goods costs rose 0.2% (1.2% y/y). Automotive vehicles & product prices were unchanged (0.4% y/y). Agricultural product prices ticked up 0.1% but by 10.0% y/y. Strength has been led by a 24.4% y/y rise in soybean prices and a 21.2% yearly gain in feedstuff prices.

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.

Part Chart, Part Science: The Evolution of Economic Indicators from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta can be found here

 

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Imports - All Commodities -0.9 0.3 1.0 -1.6 10.9 6.9 -11.5
  Petroleum -3.6 -0.2 4.0 -7.0 36.5 28.4 -35.9
  Nonpetroleum -0.1 0.4 0.1 0.0 4.5 2.8 -4.1
Exports - All Commodities -0.7 0.0 0.8 0.7 8.1 4.9 -4.6
  Agricultural 0.1 -1.9 1.3 10.0 22.3 7.9 -12.8
  Nonagricultural -0.7 0.2 0.7 -0.4 6.6 4.6 -3.7
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