Recent Updates

  • UK: Lloyds TSB Business Barometer (Nov)
  • China: Steel PMI, Manufacturing PMI, Nonmanufacturing PMI (Nov)
  • New Zealand: ANZ Business Outlook Survey (Nov)
  • Australia: Assets & Liabilities of ADIS (Oct), External Debt, International Investment Position, BOP (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Import Prices Rebound in September; Export Prices Moderate
by Winnie Tapasanun  October 15, 2021

• Import prices gain 0.4% in September as fuel prices jump 3.7%.

• Excluding fuels, import prices hold steady.

• Export prices increase a marginal 0.1% as agricultural export prices fall 1.7%.

Import prices rose 0.4% (9.2% y/y) in September after an unrevised 0.3% decline in August and a downwardly revised 0.3% increase in July (+0.4% initially), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The September m/m rise was the 10th in 11 months. Export prices ticked up 0.1% last month (16.3% y/y) following unrevised gains of 0.4% in August and 1.1% in July. The Action Economics Forecast survey had expected for both export and import prices to increase 0.5% in September.

The rise in import prices in September was primarily driven by a 3.7% jump (68.7% y/y) in fuel import costs following a 3.0% August decline. The key contributors in the gain in fuel import costs were increases of crude oil (5.1% m/m; 75.4% y/y), petroleum & petroleum products (3.9% m/m; 70.5% y/y), and natural gas (3.2% m/m; 61.7% y/y). Nonfuel import prices were unchanged (+5.0% y/y) following a 0.1% August downtick and eight consecutive monthly gains. Industrial supplies and materials excluding fuels fell 0.9% (+19.5% y/y), the third straight m/m fall, on top of a 1.4% drop. Notably, building materials import prices slid 10.1% (-9.7% y/y), the third consecutive m/m slide, after a 15.9% decrease. These drops in building materials represented a reversal from an 80.2% y/y jump in May.

Prices of other categories of imports mostly increased in September. Foods, feeds, and beverage prices rose 1.3% (10.1% y/y) in September, the fourth successive m/m rise, after a 0.6% gain in August. Nonauto consumer goods prices grew 0.2% (1.4% y/y), the seventh straight m/m gain, after a 0.3% increase. Automotive vehicle, parts & engine import prices edged up 0.1% (2.0% y/y), the ninth consecutive m/m increase, after a 0.4% rise, while capital goods costs held steady (+1.8% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick.

September export prices increased 0.1% despite a 1.7% drop (+27.4% y/y) in agricultural export prices, which was a reversal of a 0.9% gain in August. Nonauto consumer goods prices fell 0.2% (+1.4% y/y), the third consecutive m/m fall, after a 0.3% decline. Capital goods prices were unchanged (+2.3% y/y) after a 0.2% rise. Auto export prices held steady (+1.8% y/y) following a 0.1% increase. In contrast, industrial supplies and materials prices advanced 0.9% (39.8% y/y), up for the 11th successive month, after a 0.6% rise. Prices for nonagricultural exports rose 0.3% (15.1% y/y) after a 0.3% increase, registering the 11th straight m/m gain.

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, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2020 2019 2018
Imports - All Commodities 0.4 -0.3 0.3 9.2 -2.5 -1.3 3.1
  Fuels 3.7 -3.0 3.0 68.7 -27.8 -2.1 20.8
  Nonfuels 0.0 -0.1 0.1 5.0 0.3 -1.1 1.3
Exports - All Commodities 0.1 0.4 1.1 16.3 -2.8 -0.9 3.4
  Agricultural -1.7 0.9 -1.7 27.4 -0.3 -0.4 0.6
  Nonagricultural 0.3 0.3 1.4 15.1 -3.0 -0.9 3.7
close
large image