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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Ease As Nonpetroleum Costs Fall Further
by Tom Moeller  July 14, 2015

Import prices fell 0.1% during June (-10.0% y/y) following a 1.2% jump during May, revised from 1.3%. The Action Economics Forecast Survey anticipated a 0.2% rise.

Prices of petroleum imports increased 0.8% (-41.3% y/y) following an 11 .7% jump. Nonpetroleum import prices, however, fell 0.2% (-2.6% y/y). They've been flat or down in each month since March of last year. Industrial materials prices excluding petroleum declined 0.5% (-8.4% y/y), down regularly during the last year. Prices amongst the other end-use categories were mixed. Food, feed & beverage prices fell 0.6% (-0.5% y/y) and autos & parts prices eased 0.1% (-2.0% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices were unchanged for the second straight month (-0.9% y/y) while capital goods prices also held steady (-1.7% y/y).

Export prices eased 0.2% (-5.7% y/y) following a 0.6% rise. A 0.1% improvement had been expected. Agricultural prices fell 1.5% (-16.7% y/y) and nonagricultural costs eased 0.1% (-4.5% y/y). Overall industrial materials & supplies prices fell 0.3% (-11.9% y/y), reflecting a 0.7% rise (-28.7% y/y) in petroleum prices that was the weakest of four monthly increases this year. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 2.3% (-17.0% y/y). Prices excluding foods and fuels continued lower by 0.1% (-1.9% y/y). Capital goods export prices remained unchanged both m/m and y/y while prices excluding computers & peripherals improved 0.1% (0.9% y/y) for a second month. Nonauto consumer goods prices increased 0.3% (-1.9% y/y), the first increase since last July and autos & parts prices improved 0.1%, remaining unchanged y/y.

The import and export price series can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed figures, including the industrial materials excluding petroleum imports and the fuel & lubricant export items mentioned above, are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Imports - All Commodities -0.1 1.2 -0.2 -10.0 -1.1 -1.1 0.3
  Petroleum 0.8 11.7 2.4 -41.3 -5.6 -2.6 -0.3
  Nonpetroleum -0.2 0.0 -0.4 -2.6 0.1 -0.6 0.3
Exports - All Commodities -0.2 0.6 -0.7 -5.7 -0.5 -0.4 0.4
  Agricultural -1.5 -1.2 -0.9 -16.7 -2.7 1.6 2.4
  Nonagricultural -0.1 0.7 -0.7 -4.5 -0.3 -0.7 0.1
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