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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Fall Further
by Tom Moeller  May 14, 2013

Prices in the U.S. foreign trade sector weakened further last month. Import prices fell 0.5% (-2.6% y/y) during April after a 0.2% March decline, earlier reported as -0.5%. The Action Economics survey looked for a 0.4% drop in prices. Lower petroleum prices again led last month's overall price decline with a 1.9% drop (-9.5% y/y).

Nonpetroleum import prices again slipped 0.1% (-0.3% y/y) and have been unchanged over the last six months. Nonoil industrial supplies & material costs fell 0.4% (-0.7% y/y) while motor vehicle & parts prices were off 0.3% (0.0% y/y). Capital goods prices outside of the high-tech area slipped 0.2% (-0.4% y/y) and computers, peripheral & semiconductor costs declined 0.2% (-1.1% y/y) for the third consecutive month. Prices for foods, feeds & beverages fell 0.5% (-0.9% y/y), down following two months of strength. Moving up by 0.3% (0.3% y/y) were nonauto consumer goods prices.

U.S. export prices also were weak. They fell 0.7% (-0.9% y/y) in April following a 0.5% March decline, revised from -0.4%. That drop was versus expectations for a 0.2% shortfall. Agricultural export prices fell 2.2% (+4.2% y/y), down for the third month this year. Nonagricultural prices were off by 0.5% (-1.5% y/y) as nonauto consumer goods prices fell 0.3% (-0.8% y/y) for the third consecutive month. Capital goods prices also were off 0.2% (0.6% y/y) while motor vehicle & parts prices were unchanged (0.4% y/y) for a second month.

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 2012 2011 2010
Imports - All Commodities -0.5 -0.2 0.9 -2.6 0.3 10.9 6.9
  Petroleum -1.9 -0.6 4.0 -9.5 -0.3 36.5 28.4
  Nonpetroleum -0.1 -0.1 0.0 -0.3 0.3 4.5 2.8
Exports - All Commodities -0.7 -0.5 0.7 -0.9 0.4 8.1 4.9
  Agricultural -2.2 -1.9 2.0 4.2 2.4 22.3 7.9
  Nonagricultural -0.5 -0.3 0.6 -1.5 0.1 6.6 4.6
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