Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Feb 17 2023

U.S. Import Prices Fall in January While Export Prices Unexpectedly Rebound


• Import prices decline 0.2% in Jan. (a one-year low in the index level), down for the seventh straight month, led by a 4.9% drop in imported fuel prices. • Excluding fuels, import prices increase 0.3%, up for the second consecutive month. • Export prices beat expectations rising 0.8%, the first m/m gain in seven months, led by a 0.8% rebound in nonag export prices; however, ag export prices ease 0.2%. • Year-over-year import and export price growth rates decelerate in Jan. vs. Dec.; import prices 0.8% vs. 3.0% and export prices 2.3% vs. 4.3%, their lowest since Dec. ’20.

Import prices fell 0.2% m/m in January after declines of 0.1% in December (+0.4% initially) and 0.8% in November (-0.7% previously), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The January reading is the seventh straight monthly fall to the lowest index level since January 2022. The y/y rate decelerated to 0.8%, the lowest since December 2020, from December’s 3.0%. Export prices unexpectedly rose 0.8%, the first m/m rise since June, after drops of 3.2% in December (-2.6% initially) and 0.4% in November. The y/y rate fell to 2.3%, also the lowest since December 2020, from December's 4.3%. The Action Economics Forecast survey had expected m/m declines of 0.1% in import prices and 0.2% in export prices for January.

The fall in import prices in January was led by a 4.9% drop (+0.4% y/y) in imported fuel prices after falling 4.4% in December (+0.6% initially). The January m/m reading was the seventh successive m/m decline following increases from January to June of last year. The drop in imported fuel costs reflected m/m decreases of 21.4% (+15.0% y/y) in fuel oil, 11.2% (+20.1% y/y) in natural gas, 4.5% (-1.2% y/y) in petroleum & petroleum products, and 3.9% (+9.8% y/y) in other petroleum products. Crude oil import prices, however, rebounded 1.0% (-5.6% y/y) after six consecutive m/m falls. Nonfuel import prices rose 0.3% (0.8% y/y) in January after a 0.4% rise in December and seven straight m/m slides. Import prices for foods, feeds & beverages (1.3%; 2.3% y/y), automotive vehicles & parts (0.6%; 2.9% y/y), capital goods (0.3%; 2.5% y/y), and consumer goods excluding autos (0.2%; 0.3% y/y) posted their m/m gains in January. In contrast, import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies & materials fell back 0.2% (-2.6% y/y), the eighth m/m fall in nine months.

The January rise in export prices reflected a 0.8% gain (1.7% y/y) in nonagricultural export prices after declining 3.3% in December (-2.7% initially) and falling from July to November. Export prices for automotive vehicles & parts (1.2%; 5.2% y/y), capital goods (0.8%; 2.9% y/y), consumer goods excluding autos (0.8%; 2.6% y/y), and industrial supplies & materials (0.8%; 0.1% y/y) registered their m/m increases in January; nevertheless, export prices for foods, feeds & beverages slipped 0.1% (+6.0% y/y), the seventh m/m decline in eight months. Agricultural export prices fell 0.2% (+5.8% y/y) in January, the sixth m/m fall in seven months, after a 2.5% drop in December (-2.4% initially).

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.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has almost 20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   A bilingual (English and Thai) with competency in French, Winnie loves to travel (25 countries so far) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

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