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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Remain Unchanged M/M But Decline For All of 2013
by Tom Moeller  January 14, 2014

Import prices were unchanged last month (-1.3% y/y) following sharp declines during the prior two months. A 0.3% increase had been expected in the Action Economics survey. For all of last year, import prices fell 1.1%, the first decline since 2009. A 0.1% downtick last month (-1.5% y/y) in petroleum prices was accompanied by an unchanged level of nonpetroleum prices (1.3% y/y).

Last month's weakness in nonpetroleum prices reflected a 0.2% decline (-0.4% y/y) in nonauto consumer goods prices. Automotive prices slipped 0.1% (-1.4% y/y) as did capital goods prices (-0.9% y/y). To the upside, foods, feeds & beverages costs gained 0.6% (4.1% y/y) and industrial materials prices ticked up 0.1% (-3.0% y/y).

U.S. export prices increased 0.4% (-1.0% y/y) last month after a 0.1% November uptick. A 0.1% rise had been expected. Agricultural export prices increased 0.4% (-6.3% y/y) after two months of decline while nonagricultural prices gained 0.3% (-0.5% y/y).

Industrial supplies & materials export prices increased 1.0% (-1.4% y/y) while foods, feeds & beverages costs gained 0.5% (-6.9% y/y) after two months of slippage. Nonauto consumer goods prices ticked up 0.1% (-1.4% y/y) for the third straight month as capital goods prices slipped 0.1% (+0.7% y/y). Auto prices also slipped 0.1% (+0.6% 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.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Imports - All Commodities 0.0 -0.9 -0.6 -1.3 -1.1 0.3 10.9
  Petroleum -0.1 -4.7 -3.6 -1.5 -2.6 -0.3 36.5
  Nonpetroleum 0.0 0.1 0.1 -1.3 -0.6 0.3 4.5
Exports - All Commodities 0.4 0.1 -0.6 -1.0 -0.4 0.4 8.1
  Agricultural 0.4 -0.2 -1.3 -6.3 1.7 2.4 22.3
  Nonagricultural 0.3 0.1 -0.5 -0.5 -0.7 0.1 6.6
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