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U.S. Import Price Index Increased 0.6% in May


Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Rising fuel and nonfuel prices contributed to the advances in both months. U.S. export prices rose 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May.

Imports
All Imports: Import prices increased 0.6 percent in May, continuing the upward trend that began in August 2017. The May advance followed a 0.6-percent rise the previous month. The price index for overall imports increased 4.3 percent for the year ended in May, the largest 12-month advance since the index rose 4.7 percent in February 2017. The May over-the-year advance was largely driven by higher fuel prices although nonfuel prices also increased over the past year.

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices rose 4.9 percent in May, after a 4.1-percent advance in April. The May rise was the largest monthly increase since the index rose 9.8 percent in November 2017. In May, the advance in fuel prices was led by a 5.9-percent increase in petroleum prices which more than offset a 19.5 percent drop in natural gas prices. Prices for import fuel increased 28.6 percent over the past 12 months, driven by a 31.9 percent rise in petroleum prices. In contrast, natural gas prices fell 18.5 percent over the past year.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices increased 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month in May and have not recorded a monthly decline since the index decreased 0.2 percent in December 2017. The May advance was driven by higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; and foods, feeds, and beverages. The price indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles both fell in May. Nonfuel prices advanced 1.9 percent over the past year, primarily led by higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.

Exports
All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May, led by higher prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports. Export prices have not recorded a monthly decline since the index edged down 0.1 percent in June 2017. The price index for overall exports advanced 4.9 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, the largest 12-month increase since the index rose 6.3 percent in October 2011.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports advanced 1.6 percent in May following a 1.2-percent decline the previous month. The May increase was driven by a 10.1-percent advance in wheat prices, a 4.4-percent rise in corn prices, and a 1.8-percent increase in soybean prices. Prices for agricultural exports also rose over the past 12 months, advancing 4.9 percent.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices advanced 0.5 percent in May and have not recorded a monthly drop since the index fell 0.1 percent in October 2017. The increase was driven by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, although rising prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles also contributed to the May rise. Prices for overall nonagricultural exports increased 4.9 percent for the year ended in May.

Import Prices
Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China ticked up 0.1 percent in May, after falling 0.1 percent the previous month. Import prices from China advanced 0.3 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year increase since the index rose 0.3 percent in July 2014. The price index for imports from Japan ticked up 0.1 percent in May, the same advance as recorded in April. Prices for imports from Japan increased 0.2 percent over the past year. Import prices from Canada, the European Union, and Mexico all rose in May, led in part by rising fuel prices. Import prices from Canada increased 1.9 percent, from the European Union 0.4 percent, and from Mexico 0.3 percent.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose 0.8 percent in May following a 0.6-percent advance the previous month. In May, higher prices for metals and selected building materials more than offset lower chemicals prices.

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mixed in May. Prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles each edged down 0.1 percent. The decline in capital goods prices was the first monthly drop since a 0.1-percent decrease in November 2017. In contrast, prices for consumer goods ticked up 0.1 percent, led by higher prices for medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical materials.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices increased 0.4 percent in May, after falling 0.3 percent in April. Rising prices for fruit and grains were the largest contributors to the May advance.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares declined 2.5 percent in May following a 2.8-percent rise in April. The May decrease was driven by lower European and Latin American/Caribbean fares which more than offset rising Asian fares. Despite the May decrease, import air passenger fares rose 1.2 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for import air freight advanced 1.6 percent in May and 18.2 percent over the past year.

Export Prices
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials advanced 1.6 percent in May, after rising 1.3 percent in April. Both increases were led by advancing fuel prices which rose 4.6 percent in May and 3.4 percent the previous month.

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices recorded little movement in May. Capital goods prices ticked up 0.1 percent following a 0.6-percent rise in April. Prices for capital goods have not recorded a monthly decline since the index edged down 0.1 percent in October 2016. The price index for export automotive vehicles also rose 0.1 percent in May. In contrast, consumer goods prices fell 0.1 percent.

Transportation Services: The index for export air passenger fares fell 11.4 percent in May following a 16.2-percent increase the previous month. The May decline was driven by lower Asian and European fares. Export air passenger fares advanced 9.3 percent for the year ended in May. Prices for export air freight rose 0.7 percent in May and 3.0 percent over the past 12 months.




Posted: June 14, 2018 Thursday 08:30 AM




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