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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  December 14, 2017

Import prices rose increased 0.7% in November (3.1% y/y) following a 0.1% October uptick, revised from 0.2% reported initially. The latest gain matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

The strength in import prices was led by a 7.2% jump (24.1% y/y) in petroleum prices. Nonpetroleum import prices inched 0.1% higher (1.4% y/y) for a second straight month. Industrial supplies & materials prices jumped 3.6% (14.1% y/y) after a 0.6% rise. Industrial supplies prices excluding petroleum gained 1.5% (8.2% y/y) following a 0.5% rise. Auto prices rose 0.1% (-0.5% y/y) after a 0.2% slip, while nonauto consumer goods prices also gained 0.1% (0.2% y/y) following two consecutive monthly declines. Capital goods prices held steady (0.6% y/y for a third straight month. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 1.7% (-0.4% y/y) after a 0.4% fall.

Export prices increased 0.5% last month (3.1% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick. A 0.3% rise had been expected.

Higher nonagricultural prices paced the increase with a 0.6% gain (3.2% y/y) after a 0.1% dip. Agricultural prices declined 0.6% (+2.1% y/y) after a 1.9% rise. Industrial supplies & materials costs gained 2.1% (8.0% y/y) following a 1.0% decline. Industrial supplies prices excluding fuels rose 1.8% (3.6% y/y) following a 0.3% drop. Foods, feeds & beverage prices declined 1.0% (+2.2% y/y) after a 2.1% rise. Capital goods prices eased 0.1% (+1.6% y/y), the first decline in over a year. Auto prices also slipped 0.1% (+0.4% y/y) after no change during the prior two months. Consumer goods prices excluding autos held steady (-0.7% y/y) after a 0.1% dip.

The import and export price series can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed breakdowns into individual types of commodities, equipment and many types of nondurable goods are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Imports - All Commodities 0.7 0.1 0.8 3.1 -3.3 -10.2 -1.1
  Petroleum 7.2 0.5 6.5 24.1 -19.7 -46.0 -5.6
  Nonpetroleum 0.1 0.1 0.3 1.4 -1.5 -2.8 0.1
Exports - All Commodities 0.5 0.1 0.8 3.1 -3.2 -6.3 -0.5
  Agricultural -0.6 1.9 -0.7 2.1 -5.4 -13.3 -2.7
  Nonagricultural 0.6 -0.1 0.9 3.2 -3.0 -5.5 -0.3
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