U.S. Import and Export Prices Strengthen Unexpectedly in August
- Import price gains led by fuels.
- Excluding fuels, import prices slipped.
- Export price rise centered on nonagricultural products.
Import prices increased 0.5% (-3.0% y/y) during August following a 0.1% July rise, revised from 0.4%. Prices in June eased 0.2%, revised from a 0.1% slip, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Export prices rose 1.3% (-5.5% y/y) after a 0.5% gain in July, revised from 0.7%. Prices in June fell 0.6%, revised from -0.7%. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a 0.3% monthly increase in both import and export prices in August.
Strength in import prices last month reflected a 6.7% jump in fuel prices, which remained down 20.0% y/y. Excluding fuel, import prices eased 0.1% in August (-0.8% y/y), the same as during July. Imported food, feed & beverage prices rose 0.7% (5.0% y/y) after surging 2.4% in July. Excluding food and energy, import prices declined 0.2% in August (-1.3% y/y), the same as in July. Elsewhere, import prices were weak. Imported capital goods prices fell 0.2% (+0.5% y/y) after holding steady in July. Auto import prices eased 0.1% (+1.7% y/y) after a 0.5% increase. To the upside, prices of imported consumer goods less autos rose 0.1% (-0.3% y/y) following two months of modest decline.
The rise in export prices during August reflected a 1.7% increase (-5.3% y/y) in nonagricultural product prices which followed a 0.6% July gain. Exported agricultural product prices fell 2.2% (-7.8% y/y) after a 0.5% gain. Exported food, feeds & beverage prices weakened 2.5% (-7.7% y/y) after a 0.6% gain. Prices of exported industrial supplies rose 4.0% (-13.3% y/y) after a 1.1% July gains. Prices of capital goods exports edged up 0.1% (2.1% y/y) and prices of auto exports rose 0.2% (2.1% y/y), the same as in July. Working 0.1% lower (+2.5% y/y) were prices of exported consumer goods excluding autos following no change in July.
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.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.