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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Price Increase Powered by Oil
by Tom Moeller  November 15, 2016

Import prices improved 0.5% during October (-0.2% y/y) following a 0.2% September increase, revised from 0.1%. A 0.4% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

A 7.5% increase (4.5% y/y) in petroleum import prices led the rise in the overall price index, as it followed a 1.6% gain. Nonpetroleum import prices eased 0.1% (-0.4% y/y) after being unchanged. Prices for non-oil industrial supplies & materials declined 0.6% (-0.7% y/y) for the second straight month. Foods, feeds & beverage costs fell 0.6% (+4.0% y/y) after a 0.4% gain. Motor vehicle & parts prices improved 0.3% (0.0% y/y) after a 0.1% rise. Nonauto consumer goods prices rose 0.1% (-0.5% y/y), the first rise in five months. Capital goods prices declined 0.2% (-1.4% y/y) and reversed September's increase. Capital goods prices excluding computers, peripherals & semiconductors remained unchanged (-1.0% y/y) for a second month.

Export prices increased 0.2% (-1.1% y/y) following an unrevised 0.3% gain. No change had been expected.

A 0.4% increase (-3.0% y/y) in agricultural commodity prices led the increase in the overall index, as it followed three straight months of decline. Nonagricultural goods costs rose 0.2% (-0.8% y/y) following a 0.4% increase. Foods, feeds & beverage prices increased 0.3% (-2.8% y/y), also following three straight months of decline. Industrial supplies & materials costs rose 0.8% (-1.0% y/y) after a 1.3% increase. Motor vehicle & parts  prices increased 0.2% (-0.7% y/y) while nonauto consumer goods prices fell 0.7% (-1.9% y/y) after a 0.2% rise. Capital goods prices eased 0.1% (-0.4% y/y), and have been little changed this year.

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, %) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Imports - All Commodities 0.5 0.2 -0.2 -0.2 -10.2 -1.1 -1.1
  Petroleum 7.5 1.6 -4.1 4.5 -46.0 -5.6 -2.6
  Nonpetroleum -0.1 0.0 0.1 -0.4 -2.8 0.1 -0.6
Exports - All Commodities 0.2 0.3 -0.8 -1.1 -6.3 -0.5 -0.4
  Agricultural 0.4 -1.1 -3.5 -3.0 -13.3 -2.7 1.6
  Nonagricultural 0.2 0.4 -0.5 -0.8 -5.5 -0.3 -0.7
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