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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Decline Is Limited By Rise In Petroleum Costs
by Tom Moeller  October 9, 2015

Import prices eased 0.1% during September (-10.7% y/y) following a revised 1.6% drop during August, revised from -1.8%. A 0.5% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. A 1.1% increase (-46.1% y/y) in petroleum prices was the first rise in three months. Nonpetroleum import prices slipped 0.2% (-3.3% y/y). Prices have not risen m/m since March of last year. A 0.8% decline (-3.1% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages costs led the total downward. Nonoil supplies & materials prices declined 0.6% (-10.6% y/y). Capital goods prices followed with a 0.1% dip (-2.3% y/y). Motor vehicle & parts costs remained unchanged (-1.4% y/y) but nonauto consumer goods prices edged 0.1% higher (-1.1% y/y), the first increase since February.

Export prices fell 0.7% (-7.4% y/y) following a 1.4% drop. Expectations had been for a 0.6% decline. A 1.7% shortfall (-17.1% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials prices led the way lower. This decline reflected lower fuels & building materials prices, without which prices fell 0.5% (-8.8% y/y). Foods, feeds & beverages prices fell 1.1% (-4.3% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices declined 0.2% (-2.8% y/y). Automotive vehicles & parts prices eased 0.1% (-0.3% y/y) and capital goods prices remained unchanged, both m/m and 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 petroleum export items mentioned above, are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Imports - All Commodities -0.1 -1.6 -1.0 -10.7 -1.1 -1.1 0.3
  Petroleum 1.1 -11.8 -6.6 -46.1 -5.6 -2.6 -0.3
  Nonpetroleum -0.2 -0.4 -0.4 -3.3 0.1 -0.6 0.3
Exports - All Commodities -0.7 -1.4 -0.4 -7.4 -0.5 -0.4 0.4
  Agricultural -1.1 -2.5 1.0 -13.5 -2.7 1.6 2.4
  Nonagricultural -0.6 -1.3 -0.6 -6.7 -0.3 -0.7 0.1
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