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Economy in Brief

U.S. Import and Export Prices Continue to Fall in August
by Tom Moeller  September 15, 2022

• Import price decline is led by oil.

• Export price decline centers on food & industrial supplies.

A slowdown in global demand is weighing down prices in the U.S. international trade sector. Import prices declined 1.0% (+7.8% y/y) in August following a 1.5% July fall, revised from -1.4%. A 1.2% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Export prices fell 1.6% (+10.8% y/y) following a 3.7% July drop, revised from -3.3%. A 1.2% fall in August export prices had been expected.

The fall in import prices in August was led by a 7.1% drop (+48.1% y/y) in imported petroleum prices which followed a 6.9% July decline. Nonpetroleum import prices eased 0.2% (+4.3% y/y) in August, the fourth consecutive decline. Foods, feeds & beverages prices dropped 1.6% (+4.6% y/y), also down for the fourth straight month. Motor vehicle & parts prices eased 0.1% (+3.3% y/y) after a 0.6% rise. Import prices of capital goods were roughly steady (3.3% y/y) for the third straight month. Import prices for nonauto consumer goods inched up 0.1% (1.8% y/y) after remaining unchanged in July.

The August decline in export prices reflected a 1.8% drop (+10.7% y/y) in nonagricultural export prices as well as a 0.4% easing (+12.1% y/y) in agricultural export prices. Industrial supplies & materials export prices dropped 3.5% (+18.6% y/y) in August after a 7.8% July decline. Export prices for foods, feeds & beverages eased 0.4% (+10.4% y/y), the third consecutive monthly decline. Nonauto consumer goods export prices rose 0.3% (4.0% y/y) after holding steady for two months. Capital goods export prices were unchanged (4.4% y/y) in August after a 0.6% rise. Auto export prices also were unchanged (4.6% y/y) after a 0.6% increase.

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.

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