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U.S. Import Price Index increased 0.2% in July


Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.2 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following a 1.1-percent decline the previous month. In July, rising fuel prices more than offset lower nonfuel prices. The price index for U.S. exports advanced 0.2 percent in July, after falling 0.6 percent in June and 0.3 percent in May.

Imports
The price index for U.S. imports rose 0.2 percent in July, after a decrease of 1.1 percent the previous month. Prior to June, prices for U.S. imports advanced in each of the first 5 months of 2019. Despite the increases, import prices declined 1.8 percent over the past year. (See table 1.)

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel advanced 1.8 percent in July following a 7.3-percent drop in June. Import fuel prices previously increased 30.1 percent for the first 5 months of 2019. In July, higher petroleum prices more than offset lower natural gas prices. The price index for import petroleum rose 1.9 percent, after decreasing 7.0 percent the previous month. Overall fuel prices and petroleum prices both fell over the past year, declining 5.5 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. Natural gas prices fell 1.4 percent in July, after declining 59.6 percent the previous 3 months. The recent decreases drove natural gas prices down 22.1 percent over the past 12 months.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports edged down 0.1 percent in July following 0.3-percent decreases in each of the previous 2 months. The July decline was driven by lower prices for automotive vehicles; foods, feeds, and beverages; and capital goods. Those decreases were partially offset by rising prices for consumer goods and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. Prices for nonfuel imports fell 1.3 percent from July 2018 to July 2019, led by declining prices for industrial supplies and materials and capital goods.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose 0.2 percent in July, after declining 0.7 percent the previous month. In July, a 1.0-percent increase in unfinished metals prices more than offset lower prices for chemicals and paper.

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mixed in July. Consumer goods prices rose 0.2 percent, the first monthly advance since the index increased 0.3 percent in February. The July advance was driven by a 1.0-percent rise in the price index for medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical materials. In contrast, automotive vehicle prices and prices for capital goods both fell in July. Automotive vehicle prices declined 0.3 percent, after recording no change in June and May; prices for capital goods edged down 0.1 percent following a 0.2-percent drop in June.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for import foods, feeds, and beverages fell 0.5 percent in July, after decreasing 1.4 percent in June. The July decline was driven by a 5.8-percent drop in vegetable prices.

Exports
U.S. export prices increased 0.2 percent in July, after decreasing 0.9 percent over the previous 2 months. Higher agricultural and nonagricultural prices both contributed to the advance. Despite the July increase, prices for U.S. exports continued to decrease on a 12-month basis, declining 0.9 percent from July 2018 to July 2019. (See table 2.)

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices rose 0.4 percent in July following a 2.5-percent increase in June. The July advance was led by higher prices for soybeans, other animal feeds, nuts, and vegetables which more than offset lower prices for fruit and wheat. Prices for agricultural exports rose 3.7 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since the index advanced 5.3 percent from June 2017 to June 2018.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports rose 0.2 percent in July, after a 1.0-percent decrease in June and a 0.2-percent drop in May. The July increase was primarily led by higher nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices, though rising consumer goods prices also contributed to the advance. In contrast, prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles declined. Nonagricultural export prices decreased 1.5 percent for the year ended in July, driven by falling prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials which more than offset advancing finished goods prices.

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices increased 0.7 percent in July following a 2.8-percent drop the previous month. The upturn was driven by a 2.3-percent advance in export fuel prices which previously declined 7.3 percent in June.

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices were mixed in July. The price indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles each edged down 0.1 percent, after recording no change in June. Prices for consumer goods increased 0.2 percent in July, driven by a 1.1-percent advance in medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical materials prices.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality
Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China edged down 0.1 percent in July, after decreasing 0.2 percent in June. Prices for imports from China have not recorded a monthly advance since ticking up 0.1 percent in May 2018. The price index for imports from China declined 1.6 percent on a 12-month basis for the second consecutive month in July. The last time the index fell more than 1.6 percent was a 1.9-percent drop in January 2017. Import prices from Japan recorded no change in July following a 0.1-percent decrease the previous month. Prices for imports from Japan edged down 0.1 percent for the year ended in July. Import prices from Mexico declined 0.2 percent in July, after falling 1.3 percent in June. In contrast, the price indexes for imports from Canada and the European Union both advanced 0.2 percent in July. Import prices from Canada previously fell 3.3 percent in June, and prices for imports from the European Union decreased 0.6 percent over the same period. (See table 7.)

Exports by Locality of Destination: Export prices to China rose 0.6 percent in July, after declining 0.6 percent the previous month. Despite the July advance, prices for exports to China decreased 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for exports to Japan rose 1.0 percent in July following a 0.1-percent decline in June. The index increased 0.2 percent from July 2018 to July 2019. Export prices to the European Union rose 0.8 percent, the largest monthly advance since the index increased 1.9 percent in January 2018. Prices for exports to Canada and Mexico also rose in July, advancing 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. (See table 8.)

Terms of Trade Indexes: Terms of Trade indexes are based on country, region, or grouping and measure the change in the purchasing power of exports relative to imports. The U.S. terms of trade with China increased 0.7 percent in July following a 0.4-percent decline the previous month. In July, the increase resulted from both a rise in export prices to China and a decline in import prices from China. U.S. terms of trade with China edged down 0.1 percent for the year ended in July. The index for U.S. terms of trade with Japan advanced 1.0 percent in July, after recording no change in June. U.S. terms of trade with Japan rose 0.3 percent over the past 12 months. The U.S. terms of trade with the European Union increased 0.6 percent in July following a 0.2-percent decline in June and a 0.4-percent drop in May. U.S. terms of trade with Mexico and Canada also advanced in July, rising 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. (See table 9.)

Import and Export Services
Imports: Import air passenger fares declined 9.9 percent in July following a 6.7-percent increase in June and a 6.9-percent advance in May. The decrease was the largest 1-month drop since the index fell 10.6 percent in August 2017. In July, the decline was led by a 12.7-percent decrease in European fares and an 11.8-percent drop in Asian fares. Import air passenger fares fell 6.6 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for import air freight fell 1.8 percent in July, after edging down 0.1 percent in June. The July drop was the largest monthly decrease since the index fell 6.1 percent in February. The price index for import air freight declined 6.6 percent over the past 12 months. (See table 10.)

Exports: Export air passenger fares increased 3.3 percent in July, after rising 4.0 percent in June. Higher Latin American/Caribbean, European, and Asian fares all contributed to the advance in July. Despite the recent increases, export air passenger fares declined 1.4 percent from July 2018 to July 2019. Export air freight prices rose 0.6 percent in July, the largest monthly advance since the index increased 0.6 percent in October 2018. Prices for export air freight also advanced over the past year, rising 1.4 percent.






Posted: August 14, 2019 Wednesday 08:30 AM




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