U.S. import prices fall 0.5% while export prices slide 0.6%

Date: September 13, 2019

August’s import prices declined 0.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics after rising 0.1% the previous month. This decrease was mostly attributable to the falling prices in fuel imports while nonfuel goods remained unchanged. Nonetheless, export prices fell 0.6% in August relative to a 0.2% increase the previous month..

Prices for import fuel dropped 4.3% in August, relative to a 0.7% rise the month before. In August, lower petroleum prices more than tempered higher prices for natural gas. The price index for import petroleum fell 4.8%, after increasing 0.9% the previous month. Prices for nonfuel imports were unchanged in August following 0.3% decreases in both June and May. Furthermore, according to BLS, “in August, lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials were offset by price increases for automotive vehicles and consumer goods.”

Exports prices declined 0.6% in August, after a 0.2% rise the previous month. The drop was attributable to price decreases for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports. Agricultural exports price index declined 2.5% in August, after rising 0.2% in July and 2.4% in June. The decline was traced back to lower prices for vegetables, corn, soybeans, cotton, meat, and wheat. Despite the monthly drop, prices for agricultural exports rose 0.5 percent over the past year. Non-agricultural export prices fell 0.4% in August following a 0.2% climb in July. Prices for nonagricultural exports fell 1.6 percent for the year ended in August; lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials more than offset price increases for finished goods over the 12-month period.

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