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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Slip
by Tom Moeller  January 11, 2013

U.S. prices in the foreign trade sector were little changed last month. Import prices slipped 0.1% (-1.5% y/y) after a 0.8% November decline, initially reported as -0.9%. The Action Economics survey looked for prices to be unchanged. Petroleum prices led the decline with a 0.8% drop (-7.1% y/y) after prices fell 3.4% during November.

Nonpetroleum import prices ticked up 0.1% and were roughly unchanged y/y. Capital goods prices outside of the high-tech area slipped 0.1% (+0.8% y/y) while computers, peripheral & semiconductor costs fell 0.4% (-1.8% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices slipped 0.1% (-0.1% y/y). Automotive vehicle costs were unchanged (1.9% y/y) but foods, feeds & beverages prices slipped 0.2% (-1.7% y/y). Nonoil industrial supplies & material prices were 0.2% lower (-1.7% y/y).

U.S. export prices slipped 0.1% (+1.1% y/y) in December, led lower by a 0.2% decline (-0.4% y/y) in nonagricultural commodity prices. Nonauto consumer goods prices slipped 0.1% and were unchanged y/y while capital goods costs slipped 0.1% (+1.0% y/y). Automotive vehicles & product prices again were unchanged (0.9% y/y). Agricultural product prices ticked up 0.1% but by 12.8% y/y. Strength has been led by a 28.6% yearly gain in feedstuff prices y/y, a 28.0% rise in wheat prices, a 25.7% y/y rise in soybean 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.

 

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Imports - All Commodities -0.1 -0.8 0.4 -1.5 0.3 10.9 6.9
  Petroleum -0.8 -3.4 0.0 -7.1 -0.2 36.5 28.4
  Nonpetroleum 0.1 -0.1 0.4 0.1 0.3 4.5 2.8
Exports - All Commodities -0.1 -0.7 0.0 1.1 0.3 8.1 4.9
  Agricultural 0.1 0.1 -1.9 12.8 2.3 22.3 7.9
  Nonagricultural -0.2 -0.8 0.3 -0.4 0.1 6.6 4.6
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