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U.S. Import Price Index Increased 0.3% in April


U.S. import prices increased 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following a 0.2-percent decline in March. Prices for fuel and nonfuel imports advanced in April. Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent in April, after increasing 0.3 percent in March. Higher prices for nonagricultural exports more than offset declining agricultural export prices in April.

Imports
All Imports: Import prices advanced 0.3 percent in April resuming the recent upward trend after declining 0.2 percent the previous month. The March decrease was the first time the index recorded a drop since a 0.2-percent decline in July 2017. Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.3 percent between April 2017 and April 2018. U.S. import prices have not recorded a 12-month decline since a 0.2-percent decrease for the year ended October 2016.

Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuels advanced 1.3 percent in April after declining 2.4 percent in March. Petroleum prices rose 1.6 percent in April more than offsetting a 4.4-percent drop in natural gas prices. Import fuel prices advanced 18.7 percent between April 2017 and April 2018 and have not declined on a 12-month basis since a 3.7-percent drop for the year ended September 2016. The price index for petroleum imports rose 20.6 percent over the past 12 months. Natural gas prices fell 6.6 percent for the year ended in April, the largest 12-month decline since a 16.1-percent decrease for the year ended October 2017.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports rose 0.2 percent in April, following advances of 0.1 percent in March and 0.4 percent in February. Higher import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; and automotive vehicles more than offset declining prices for foods, feeds, and beverages. Nonfuel import prices advanced 1.8 percent over the past 12 months and have not recorded an over-the-year decline since a 0.2-percent drop for the year ended November 2016.

Exports
All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent in April and have not recorded a decline since June 2017. The monthly advance was driven by higher nonagricultural export prices which more than offset declining agricultural prices. The price index for U.S. exports increased 3.8 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since a 4.8-percent rise for the year ended November 2011. The index has not recorded a decrease on a 12-month basis since a 0.2-percent decline between November 2015 and November 2016.

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports fell 1.2 percent in April after recording a 3.2-percent rise in March. The decline in April was the first monthly drop in agricultural prices since the index fell 0.3 percent in December 2017. Lower export prices for soybeans, nuts, and wheat drove the April decline. The price index for agricultural exports rose 1.4 percent over the past 12 months and has not declined over a 12-month period since a 1.8-percent decrease in July 2017.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports increased 0.7 percent in April. Nonagricultural export prices have not declined on a monthly basis since a 0.1-percent drop in October 2017. The April increase in nonagricultural export prices was driven by a 1.5-percent rise in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials. Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 4.0 percent over the 12-month period ended April 2018, the largest 12-month increase since a 4.8-percent rise for the year ended November 2011.

Import Prices
Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China fell 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March. The decline in April was the first monthly drop since a 0.3-percent decrease in September 2017. Import prices from China increased 0.2 percent over the past 12 months and have not recorded a 12-month decrease since December 2017. Prices for imports from Japan rose 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March and 0.3 percent in February. The price index for imports from Japan rose 0.2 percent over the past 12 months. The price indexes for imports from the European Union and Canada both increased 0.6 percent in April. Import prices from Mexico fell for a third consecutive month in April, declining 0.2 percent.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials increased 0.7 percent in April following a 1.0-percent rise in March. Import prices for industrial organic chemicals rose 4.2 percent and prices for iron and steel mill products advanced 4.0 percent, driving the overall April increase in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.

Finished Goods: The price index for consumer goods rose 0.1 percent in April after a 0.1-percent decline in March. Consumer goods import prices were driven by higher prices for medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical materials. Import prices for automotive vehicles also increased 0.1 percent in April following a 0.1-percent drop in March. Import prices for capital goods recorded no change in April.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Import prices for foods, feeds, and beverages fell 0.4 percent in April after a 1.1-percent drop in March. The import price index for vegetables drove the monthly decrease, falling 7.0 percent. Meat prices also contributed to the April drop, declining 2.2 percent.

Transportation Services: The index for import air passenger fares increased 2.8 percent in April after declining 6.5 percent in March. Import air passenger fares rose 7.9 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since an 8.2-percent advance for the year ended December 2013. Import air freight prices increased 0.7 percent in April and 10.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Export Prices
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Export prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials increased 1.5 percent in April. The monthly advance was driven by a 4.0-percent increase in the price index for export fuels.

Finished Goods: Export prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles advanced 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, in April. Capital goods export prices rose 2.0 percent for the year ended April 2018, the largest 12-month increase since a 2.1-percent rise for the year ended August 2008. Consumer goods prices recorded no change in April.

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares advanced 16.2 percent in April, the largest monthly advance since the index was first published monthly in December 2000. The April increase was driven by higher Asian and Latin American fares. The price index for export air passenger fares advanced 25.7 percent between April 2017 and April 2018, the largest 12-month rise since the index rose 30.5 percent for the year ended July 2010. Export air freight prices increased 0.6 percent in April and 5.4 percent over the past year.





Posted: May 11, 2018 Friday 08:30 AM




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