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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Decline Is Broad-Based
by Tom Moeller  November 10, 2015

Import prices declined 0.5% during October (-10.5% y/y) following a 0.6% shortfall in September, revised from -0.1%. A 0.1% slip had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Petroleum prices fell 2.1% (-48.0% y/y) after a 6.0% drop, revised from a 1.1% increase. Nonpetroleum import prices fell 0.4% (-3.4% y/y). Prices have not risen m/m since March of last year. A 1.0% decline (-5.0% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages costs added to downward price pressure and nonoil supplies & materials prices declined 1.0% (-11.0% y/y). Motor vehicle & parts cost eased 0.3% (-1.6% y/y) and capital goods prices slipped a 0.1% (-2.3% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices edged 0.1% higher (-1.1% y/y).

Export prices fell 0.2% (-6.7% y/y) following a 0.6% drop. Expectations had been for a 0.3% decline. A 0.8% shortfall (-15.9% 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% (-8.4% y/y). Foods, feeds & beverages prices improved 0.4% (-12.2% y/y) and nonauto consumer goods prices eased 0.1% (-2.4% y/y). Automotive vehicles & parts prices also slipped 0.1% (-0.4% y/y) and capital goods prices improved 0.1% (0.1% 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.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Imports - All Commodities -0.5 -0.6 -1.8 -10.5 -1.1 -1.1 0.3
  Petroleum -2.1 -6.0 -13.6 -48.0 -5.6 -2.6 -0.3
  Nonpetroleum -0.4 -0.2 -0.4 -3.4 0.1 -0.6 0.3
Exports - All Commodities -0.2 -0.6 -1.4 -6.7 -0.5 -0.4 0.4
  Agricultural -0.1 -1.3 -2.5 -11.8 -2.7 1.6 2.4
  Nonagricultural -0.3 -0.5 -1.3 -6.1 -0.3 -0.7 0.1
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