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U.S. Import Price Index rose 1.4% in June


The price index for U.S. imports rose 1.4 percent in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following a 0.8-percent increase in May. Both the June and May advances were driven by rising fuel prices. U.S. export prices also increased 1.4 percent in June, after advancing 0.4 percent the previous month.

Imports
Prices for U.S. imports increased 1.4 percent in June, after rising 0.8 percent the previous month. The June advance was led by higher fuel prices, and was the largest monthly increase since the index rose 1.4 percent in March 2012. Despite the recent advances, the price index for U.S. imports fell 3.8 percent for the year ended in June.

Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuel advanced 21.9 percent in June following a 15.4-percent increase the previous month. The June rise was the largest advance since the index was first published monthly in September 1992. Higher prices for both petroleum and natural gas contributed to the June increase. Prices for import petroleum rose 23.0 percent in June, after advancing 16.1 percent in May. Natural gas prices increased 6.8 percent in June following a 6.4-percent rise the previous month. Despite the record advance in June, import fuel prices fell 36.4 percent over the past year. The price index for import petroleum led the 12-month decline in fuel prices, decreasing 38.6 percent and offsetting a 56.0-percent increase in prices for import natural gas.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices rose 0.3 percent in June, after a 0.1-percent advance in May. In June, higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; and consumer goods more than offset lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and automotive vehicles. Prices for nonfuel imports declined 0.2 percent for the year ended in June, the smallest 12-month drop since January 2019.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials increased 1.2 percent in June following declines of 0.5 percent in May and 3.3 percent in April. The June rise was led by higher prices for unfinished metals and selected building materials.

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mostly up in June. Capital goods prices rose 0.2 percent, led by a 0.6-percent increase in the price index for computers, peripherals, and semiconductors. Prices for consumer goods also advanced 0.2 percent in June, the largest monthly rise since a 0.2-percent increase in July 2019. In contrast, automotive vehicles prices edged down 0.1 percent in June.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages fell 0.1 percent in June, after increasing 2.3 percent the previous month.

Exports
The price index for U.S. exports rose 1.4 percent in June, the largest 1-month advance for the index since a 1.5-percent increase in March 2011. In June, prices for both nonagricultural and agricultural exports contributed to the advance. Despite the June rise, prices for U.S. exports decreased 4.4 percent from June 2019 to June 2020.

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices increased 1.4 percent in June following a 0.5-percent drop in May. The advance was the first monthly increase since the index rose 2.0 percent in January. In June, rising prices for dairy products, vegetables, corn, and soybeans more than offset declining nut prices. Despite the June upturn, prices for agricultural exports decreased 4.5 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year drop since the index fell 5.3 percent for the year ended May 2019. Lower corn and nut prices were the largest contributors to the 12-month decline in agricultural export prices.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 1.4 percent in June, after rising 0.5 percent the previous month. The June increase was the largest monthly advance since the index rose 1.4 percent in March 2011. In June, the increase was led by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials which more than offset declining prices for capital goods and nonagricultural foods. Nonagricultural export prices decreased 4.4 percent for the year ended in June, driven by a 12.2-percent decline in the price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials.

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials rose 4.8 percent in June following a 2.1-percent advance in May. The June increase was the largest rise since the index was first published monthly in September 1992, and was driven by a 17.4-percent advance in fuel prices.

Finished Goods: Finished goods were mixed in June. Capital goods prices fell 0.2 percent, the largest decrease since the index declined 0.2 percent in October 2019. Lower prices for industrial engines, pumps, and compressors; transportation equipment; and computers all contributed to the June decline. In contrast, automotive vehicles prices ticked up 0.1 percent in June following a 0.1-percent decrease the previous month. The price index for consumer goods was unchanged in June, after declining 1.1 percent from February to May.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality
Imports by Locality of Origin: The price index for imports from China increased 0.1 percent in June, the first 1-month advance since the index rose 0.2 percent in December 2019. The uptick followed a 0.1-percent decline in May. Import prices from China fell 0.9 percent over the past year. Prices for imports from Japan rose 0.4 percent in June, after decreasing 0.4 percent in May. The June increase was the largest monthly advance since the index rose 0.5 percent in January 2018. The price index for imports from Japan was unchanged for the year ended in June. Import prices from Canada increased 4.4 percent in June following a 1.9-percent rise in May. Both advances were led by higher fuel prices. Prices for imports from the European Union and Mexico also increased in June, rising 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Exports by Locality of Destination: Export prices to China advanced 1.9 percent in June, after rising 2.3 percent the previous month. Those are the largest monthly increases since the index was first published in December 2017. Despite the recent advances, prices for exports to China decreased 2.5 percent for the year ended in June. The price index for exports to Japan also recorded the largest monthly increase since the index was first published in December 2017, rising 3.1 percent in June. Export prices to Japan decreased 3.0 percent over the past year. Prices for exports to Canada increased 1.3 percent in June and export prices to Mexico rose 0.6 percent over the same period. The price indexes for exports to Canada and Mexico both declined from June 2019 to June 2020, falling 4.1 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Export prices to the European Union rose 1.0 percent in June and decreased 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.

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 index for U.S. terms of trade with China rose 1.8 percent in June following a 2.3-percent increase in May. Those are the largest 1-month advances since the index was first published in December 2017. U.S. terms of trade with Japan increased 2.7 percent in June, the largest rise since the index was first published in December 2017. Higher export prices to Japan more than offset rising import prices from Japan. The index for U.S. terms of trade with the European Union also rose in June, increasing 0.4 percent, after rising 0.7 percent the previous month. In contrast, U.S. terms of trade with Canada declined 3.0 percent in June and the index for U.S. terms of trade with Mexico was unchanged.

Import and Export Services
Imports: The index for import air passenger fares increased 7.0 percent in June following declines of 0.1 percent in May, 12.3 percent in April, and 9.8 percent in March. The June advance was the largest monthly rise since the index increased 9.1 percent in September 2019 and was led by higher European and Asian fares. Despite the advance in June, import air passenger fares fell 21.5 percent over the past year. Prices for import air freight declined 2.8 percent in June following increases of 26.2 percent in May and 39.9 percent in April. Despite the downturn in June, import air freight prices advanced 73.3 percent over the past 12 months.

Exports: Export air passenger fares rose 6.4 percent in June, the first 1-month advance since the index increased 7.4 percent in January. The index for export air passenger fares fell 20.3 percent from January to May and declined 13.3 percent over the past year. In June, the upturn was driven by a 12.7-percent increase in European fares. Export air freight prices rose 2.2 percent in June and advanced 1.8 percent from June 2019 to June 2020.





Posted: July 15, 2020 Wednesday 08:30 AM




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