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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Continue Lower
by Tom Moeller  July 11, 2013

Import prices fell 0.2% last month (+0.2% y/y) following a revised 0.7% May decline, initially reported as -0.6%. No change in prices had been expected in the Action Economics survey. In a switch from prior months, lower prices for nonpetroleum products were the catalyst for the decline. Conversely, petroleum prices ticked 0.2% higher (2.9% y/y) as crude oil prices jumped.

Nonpetroleum import prices declined another 0.3% (-0.5% y/y). The shortfall was led by a 1.2% drop (0.0% y/y) in food, feeds & beverage prices. Nonoil industrial supplies & material costs fell 1.0% (-1.0% y/y) pulled lower by a decline in building material costs. Motor vehicle & parts prices were off 0.3% (-0.4% y/y). Capital goods prices outside of the high-tech area slipped 0.2% (-0.6% y/y) but computers, peripheral & semiconductor costs were unchanged (-0.9% y/y). Prices for nonauto consumer goods slipped 0.1% and were stable y/y.

U.S. export prices continued weak and slipped an expected 0.1% (+0.8% y/y), the fourth consecutive monthly shortfall. A decline in nonagricultural prices led the way lower with a 0.2% decline (-0.3% y/y), also down for the fourth straight month. Industrial supplies and material prices fell 0.4% (-0.5% y/y) while nonauto consumer goods prices slipped 0.1% (-1.5% y/y). That followed eight consecutive months of decline. Capital goods prices were unchanged (0.6% y/y) while motor vehicle & parts prices also were unchanged (0.4% y/y). Agricultural export prices continued quite firm and posted a 0.6% increase (9.3% 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.

A Century of U.S. Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability is the title of yesterday's speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it can be found here.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Imports - All Commodities -0.2 -0.7 -0.6 0.2 0.3 10.9 6.9
  Petroleum 0.2 -2.0 -2.9 2.9 -0.3 36.5 28.4
  Nonpetroleum -0.3 -0.3 0.0 -0.5 0.3 4.5 2.8
Exports - All Commodities -0.1 -0.5 -0.7 0.8 0.4 8.1 4.9
  Agricultural 0.6 1.1 -2.3 9.3 2.4 22.3 7.9
  Nonagricultural -0.2 -0.7 -0.5 -0.3 0.1 6.6 4.6
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