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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Inflation Remains Steady
by Tom Moeller  October 23, 2013

Import prices matched expectations and increased 0.2% last month (-1.0% y/y), the same as during August. A 0.8% increase (-0.4% y/y) in petroleum prices was accompanied by no change (-1.0% y/y) in nonpetroleum costs.

September's weakness in nonpetroleum import prices was led by a 0.1% dip (0.0% y/y) in nonauto consumer goods prices. Imported auto prices were unchanged (-1.2% y/y) as were capital goods prices (-1.0 y/y). Prices for nonpetroleum industrial supplies increased 0.2% (-3.6 y/y) while foods, feeds & beverage prices rose 0.5% (1.8 y/y).

U.S. export prices increased 0.3% (-1.6% y/y) last month versus an expected 0.1% uptick. The rise was the first in seven months. Prices for agricultural products rose 0.7% (-6.3% y/y) and nonagricultural goods prices increased 0.3% (-0.9% y/y). Last month's total increase was led by 0.7% increases in both foods, feeds & beverages prices (-7.3% y/y) and industrial supplies & materials costs (-2.8% y/y). Capital goods prices ticked up 0.1% (0.9% y/y). Prices were unchanged m/m for autos (0.4% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods (-1.8% 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 from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

Annus Horribillis or Annus Mirabillis? (With reference to Errol Flynn, Robert Roosa, Queen Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, Felix Rohatyn and Mick Jagger) is the title of last week's speech by Dallas Fed President Richard W. Fisher and it can be found here.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Imports - All Commodities 0.2 0.2 0.0 -1.0 0.3 10.9 6.9
  Petroleum 0.8 1.9 2.4 -0.4 -0.3 36.5 28.4
  Nonpetroleum 0.0 -0.2 -0.6 -1.0 0.3 4.5 2.8
Exports - All Commodities 0.3 -0.5 -0.2 -1.6 0.4 8.1 4.9
  Agricultural 0.7 -4.2 -0.3 -6.3 2.4 22.3 7.9
  Nonagricultural 0.3 0.0 -0.2 -0.9 0.1 6.6 4.6
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