U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes – September 2018

Date: October 12, 2018

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, “prices for U.S. imports increased 0.5 percent in September, after declining 0.4 percent in August and 0.1 percent in July.” The report further mentioned that the advancement in September was a result of higher fuel prices. In addition, U.S. export prices recorded no change in September followed by decline of 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent the previous two months.

Imports

In September, the price of imports went up 0.5 percent, which was the first monthly increase since a 0.9 percent rise in May. It should be noted that the upturn reversed the declines in each of the previous two months. From September 2017 to September 2018, there was a 3.5 percent increase in the prices for overall imports.

Fuel imports: Import fuels price went up 3.8 percent in September, after declining 2.2 percent in August. The increase in September was the largest monthly surge led by higher petroleum prices which offset lower natural gas prices.

All imports excluding fuel: The price index for non-fuel imports rose 0.6 percent over the last year. The increase was driven by a 4.3 percent rise in non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, although higher prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles also contributed to the increase.

Exports

Export prices in the U.S. recorded no change in September followed by a decline in each of the previous two months. As stated by BLS, “lower agricultural prices offset increasing agricultural prices in September.” Despite decreasing over the past quarter, prices for U.S exports advanced 2.7 percent for the period ended in September.

Agricultural Exports: There was a decline of 1.4 percent in September, whereas overall agricultural prices fell 6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2018. This was caused by lower soybean prices which fell 18.8 percent from June to September. BLS indicated that, “declining prices for soybeans, fruits, meat and nuts all contributed to the 12-month decrease.”

All imports excluding agriculture: Non-agricultural export prices increase 0.2 percent in September. Higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, automotive vehicles and non-agricultural foods were all contributing factors to the growth in non-agricultural prices.

 

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2018-10-12T18:44:03+00:00