U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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			  U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - AUGUST 2016

U.S. import prices declined 0.2 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after 
ticking up 0.1 percent in July. The August downturn was driven by lower fuel prices. Prices for U.S. exports 
decreased 0.8 percent in August following a 0.2-percent increase in July.  

Imports

All Imports: Prices for U.S. imports fell 0.2 percent in August, the first monthly decrease since the index 
fell 0.5 percent in February. Over the 5 months previous to August, import prices advanced 3.1 percent. The 
August decline was led by falling fuel prices which decreased for the second consecutive month. The price 
index for U.S. imports decreased 2.2 percent for the year ended in August, after declining 11.4 percent over 
the previous 12-month period.                     

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices declined 2.1 percent in August following a 2.5-percent drop in July. The July 
decrease was the first monthly decline since the index fell 6.8 percent in February. Both the August and July 
decreases were driven by lower petroleum prices which fell 2.8 percent in August and 3.6 percent in July. In 
contrast, prices for natural gas increased 12.1 percent in August and 28.0 percent the previous month. 
Import fuel prices declined 12.2 percent between August 2015 and August 2016, and the price indexes for 
petroleum and natural gas each fell over the same period, 12.9 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.  

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel prices recorded no change in August, after rising 0.3 percent in July. 
In August, higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials offset lower prices for automotive 
vehicles; foods, feeds, and beverages; and consumer goods. The price index for nonfuel imports decreased 
0.9 percent over the past year, and falling prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials and each of the 
major finished goods categories all contributed to the decline. 
  
Table A. Percent change in Import and Export Price Indexes, selected categories

Month IMPORTS EXPORTS
All
imports
Fuel
imports
Nonfuel
imports
All
exports
Agri-
cultural
exports
Non-
agricultural
exports

2015

August

-1.8 -12.7 -0.3 -1.4 -2.5 -1.3

September

-1.1 -8.4 -0.3 -0.6 -1.4 -0.5

October

-0.3 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 0.1 -0.3

November

-0.6 -4.0 -0.3 -0.7 -0.9 -0.7

December

-1.2 -10.0 -0.3 -1.1 -0.9 -1.1

2016

January

-1.3 -15.6 -0.1 -0.9 -1.3 -0.9

February

-0.5 -6.8 -0.1 -0.4 0.7 -0.6

March

0.4 8.5 -0.1 -0.1 -2.1 0.2

April

0.7 9.8 0.1 0.5 0.8 0.4

May

1.2 12.7 0.3 1.1 3.0 1.0

June

(r)0.7 (r)10.4 -0.2 (r)0.7 (r)2.5 0.5

July

0.1 -2.5 0.3 0.2 (r)-0.3 (r)0.2

August

-0.2 -2.1 0.0 -0.8 -3.4 -0.4

Aug. 2014 to 2015

-11.4 -48.2 -2.9 -7.1 -13.9 -6.3

Aug. 2015 to 2016

-2.2 -12.2 -0.9 -2.4 -3.5 -2.2

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: U.S. export prices decreased 0.8 percent in August, the first monthly drop since the index 
edged down 0.1 percent in March and the largest decline since the index fell 0.9 percent in January. In 
August, lower prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports contributed to the overall drop in 
export prices. The price index for U.S. exports decreased 2.4 percent over the past year, the smallest 12-
month decline since the index fell 1.7 percent in November 2014. 

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports decreased 3.4 percent in August, the largest 
monthly drop since the index fell 4.2 percent in August 2013. The August 2016 decline was led by a 9.5-
percent decrease in soybean prices, although falling prices for fruit, vegetables, corn, and meat also 
contributed to the overall drop. Agricultural prices fell 3.5 percent over the past 12 months.      

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports decreased 0.4 percent in August, 
after rising 0.2 percent the previous month. The August decline in nonagricultural export prices was the first 
monthly drop since the index fell 0.6 percent in February. Lower prices for industrial supplies and materials, 
automotive vehicles, capital goods, and consumer goods all contributed to the August downturn. The price 
index for nonagricultural exports decreased 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, primarily driven by a 5.3-
percent decline in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices. 
 

   					SELECTED AUGUST HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China declined 0.2 percent in August, led by a 1.0-
percent drop in communications equipment manufacturing. Prices for imports from China have not recorded 
a monthly advance since the index rose 0.1 percent in December 2014; the index fell 1.9 percent over the 
past year. In August, import prices from Canada fell 0.9 percent; import prices from the European Union 
declined 0.3 percent; and import prices from Mexico decreased 0.2 percent. In contrast, the price index for 
imports from Japan increased 0.3 percent in August following a 0.2-percent advance the previous month. 
The August rise was the largest monthly increase since the index advanced 0.3 percent in August 2011, and 
the last time the index recorded a larger 1-month jump was a 0.5-percent increase in February 2011.  

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials advanced 
0.2 percent in August following a 1.6-percent increase the previous month. In August, a 1.4-percent rise in 
unfinished metals prices more than offset a 0.8-percent drop in chemicals prices.          
 
Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mostly down in August. Automotive vehicles prices fell 0.2 
percent, driven by a 1.0-percent decline in the price index for engines and engine parts. Prices for consumer 
goods also fell in August, edging down 0.1 percent. Capital goods prices recorded no change in August as a 
0.7-percent decrease in computer prices offset increases for non-computer capital goods prices.  
    
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: The price index for foods, feeds, and beverages decreased 0.5 percent in 
August, after increasing 3.1 percent in July. The August downturn was led by a 15.4-percent drop in 
feedstuff and foodgrain prices.                 

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares fell 6.0 percent in August, the largest monthly decline 
since the index decreased 6.8 percent in January 2015. The August drop was led by an 8.5-percent decline in 
European fares and a 7.2-percent decrease in Asian fares. The index for import air passenger fares fell 9.1 
percent over the past 12 months. Import air freight prices rose 1.1 percent in August and declined 5.5 
percent over the past year.        

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials declined 1.3 percent in August, after rising 0.9 percent in July. The August downturn was led by a 
4.3-percent decrease in fuel prices and a 1.1-percent drop in chemicals prices.         
 
Finished Goods: Each of the major finished goods categories recorded monthly decreases in August. Prices 
for automotive vehicles fell 0.5 percent in August, the largest 1-month drop since the index was first 
published monthly in December 1988. A 1.2-percent decline in passenger car prices was the largest 
contributor to the August decrease. The price indexes for capital goods and for consumer goods each edged 
down 0.1 percent in August.                  

Transportation Services: Export air passenger prices advanced 3.6 percent in August following a 4.0-
percent rise in July and a 3.4-percent increase in June. The August advance was driven by a 27.1-percent 
increase in Asian fares which more than offset a 10.2-percent drop in European fares. Despite the recent 
rises, export air passenger fares decreased 8.0 percent over the past year. The price index for export air 
freight ticked up 0.1 percent in August and decreased 2.6 percent over the past 12 months.              
		
Import and Export Price Index data for September 2016 are scheduled for release on Thursday, October 13, 
2016 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: September 14, 2016