U.S. All import prices slid 0.2% in June, the second consecutive decline driven by lower fuel prices. Although there was a recorded decline in June, U.S. imports increased 1.5% over the previous 12 months according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The price index for fuel imports declined for the fourth month in a row, falling by 2.1% in June. Notably, the index decreased by 4.6% over the previous 3 months. The drop in the index was attributed to a 2.2% contraction in petroleum prices. A fall of 0.1% in natural gas prices was also recorded for the period. In contrast to the decline, fuel prices over the last twelve months to June 2017 have advanced 6.3%. “The import price index for petroleum increased 4.5% over the past year and natural gas prices rose 58.6%,” as indicated by the BLS.
The prices for non-fuel imports reflected an increase of 0.1% in June following no change in May. The last decline recorded was in January (0.1%). The performance of higher import prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and capital goods offset the lower prices for automotive vehicles, consumer goods, and non-fuel industrial supplies and materials. The point to point prices for non-fuel imports advanced 1.0% due to rising prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages more than offset decreasing prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles over the 12-month period ended in June.
The prices for U.S. exports slid 0.2% in June, registering a decline for the second consecutive month. Falling prices in agricultural exports drove the decrease as non-agricultural export prices recorded no change. Notably, U.S. export prices rose over the past year by 0.6%. the price index for agricultural exports declined 1.5% in June subsequent to a 1.6% drop in May. The decline in the index resulted from falling prices for vegetables, soybeans, and fruit, “more than offsetting higher prices for meat,” according to the BLS. Additionally, non-agricultural exports prices reflected no change in June subsequent to a 0.4% fall in May. The advancing prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods were mitigated by decreasing prices for automotive vehicles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The price index for non-agricultural exports increased 1.1% over the past 12 months as higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials and capital goods more than offset falling prices for consumer goods.”
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