U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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                         U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - DECEMBER 2015

U.S. import prices declined 1.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
driven by a drop in fuel prices. The December decrease followed a 0.5-percent fall the previous month. 
Prices for U.S. exports also decreased in December, declining 1.1 percent, after a 0.7-percent drop in 
November. 

Imports

All Imports: Overall import prices fell 1.2 percent in December, the largest monthly drop for the index 
since a 1.8-percent decline in August. While most of the December decrease was attributable to falling fuel 
prices, nonfuel prices continued to trend down as well. Import prices fell 8.2 percent in 2015, the largest 
calendar-year decline since the index fell 10.1 percent in 2008. 

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices decreased 9.5 percent in December, following a 3.5-percent drop in November. 
The December decline was the largest 1-month fall in the index since a 12.7-percent decrease in August and 
was led by a 10.0-percent drop in petroleum prices. Natural gas prices also declined in December, falling 
6.8 percent. The price index for import fuel decreased 40.5 percent in 2015, after a 29.1-percent drop the 
previous year. The decline over the past 12 months was the largest calendar-year decrease in fuel prices 
since the index fell 47.0 percent in 2008. For the year ended in December, petroleum prices declined 41.3 
percent and natural gas prices decreased 43.3 percent. 

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports fell 0.3 percent in December and have not 
recorded a monthly advance since the index rose 0.1 percent in July 2014. Lower prices for nonfuel 
industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, and beverages; and each of the major finished goods 
categories all contributed to the overall drop in nonfuel prices. The price index for nonfuel imports declined 
3.4 percent over the past year, the biggest calendar-year drop since the index was first published in 2001. 

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

2014

December

-2.5 -15.0 -0.1 -0.9 -0.7 -1.0

2015

January

-3.2 -20.1 -0.7 -1.7 -1.4 -1.8

February

-0.4 -1.9 -0.2 -0.2 -2.2 0.2

March

-0.2 1.5 -0.4 0.0 -1.6 0.2

April

-0.2 1.8 -0.3 -0.6 -0.9 -0.7

May

1.1 10.8 0.0 0.5 -1.3 0.6

June

0.1 1.5 -0.2 -0.3 -1.6 -0.1

July

-0.9 -6.1 -0.3 -0.4 1.0 -0.6

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

(r)-0.4 (r)-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 0.1 -0.3

November

(r)-0.5 (r)-3.5 -0.2 (r)-0.7 (r)-0.9 (r)-0.7

December

-1.2 -9.5 -0.3 -1.1 -1.0 -1.0

Dec. 2013 to 2014

-5.6 -29.1 0.0 -3.0 -5.2 -2.8

Dec. 2014 to 2015

-8.2 -40.5 -3.4 -6.5 -13.0 -5.9

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: The price index for U.S. exports decreased 1.1 percent in December, the largest 1-month drop 
since a 1.4-percent decline in August. In December both agricultural and nonagricultural prices contributed 
to the overall decline. Prices for U.S. exports decreased 6.5 percent in 2015, the largest calendar-year drop 
since the index was first published in 1983. 

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports decreased 1.0 percent in December, following a 0.9-
percent decrease in November. Nut prices, which fell 4.0 percent in December after a 6.1-percent decline 
the previous month, were the largest contributor to both the December and November drops in overall 
agricultural prices. In December, falling prices for wheat, corn, and meat also factored into the decrease. 
Agricultural export prices fell 13.0 percent over the past year, the third consecutive calendar-year decline 
and the largest since the index was first published in 1985. 

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural prices fell 1.0 percent in December, after a 0.7-
percent decline the previous month. In December, lower prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials, capital goods, and consumer goods all contributed to the overall drop in nonagricultural prices. 
Prices for nonagricultural exports decreased 5.9 percent in 2015, the largest calendar-year decline since the 
index was first published in 1985. 


                                     SELECTED DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: The price index for imports from China edged down 0.1 percent in 
December and has not recorded a monthly increase since the index rose 0.1 percent in December 2014. 
Import prices from China declined 1.7 percent in 2015, the largest calendar-year decrease since the index 
fell 1.8 percent in 2009. Prices for imports from Japan declined 0.1 percent in December and 2.9 percent 
over the past year. The drop over the past 12 months followed decreases of 1.4 percent in 2014 and 3.4 
percent in 2013. Import prices from Canada, the European Union, and Mexico also declined in December, 
falling 2.8 percent, 0.4 percent, and 0.7 percent, respectively. All three indexes were impacted by falling 
fuel prices. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices decreased 1.2 
percent in December, following a 0.8-percent decline the previous month. Both drops were driven by lower 
unfinished metals prices which fell 3.3 percent in December and 2.6 percent in November. 

Finished Goods: Each of the major finished goods areas declined in December. Prices for capital goods 
declined 0.3 percent, and the price indexes for both consumer goods and automotive vehicles edged down 
0.1 percent. Capital goods prices fell 2.5 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month drop since the 
index declined 2.6 percent in November 2002 and the biggest calendar-year decrease since the index 
declined 2.7 percent in 2001. 

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Import foods, feeds, and beverages prices edged down 0.1 percent for the 
second consecutive month in December. The December decline was led by lower prices for meat and food 
oils which more than offset rising prices for vegetables and fruits. 

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares declined 0.6 percent in December, following increases 
of 3.7 percent in November and 5.2 percent in October. The December decrease was driven by an 11.6-
percent drop in European fares. Overall air passenger fares fell 9.9 percent in 2015, the largest calendar-year 
drop since the index was first published in 1989. Import air freight prices decreased 2.7 percent in 
December and 2.6 percent over the past year. 

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials declined 3.1 percent in December, led by an 8.6-percent drop in export fuel prices. 

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mostly down in December. Capital goods prices declined 0.2 
percent in December. Prices for consumer goods fell 0.4 percent for the month, and 2.4 percent over the past 
12 months. The decrease in 2015 was the largest calendar-year decline since the index was first published in 
1983. 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares advanced 4.1 percent in December, the largest 
increase since the index rose 8.3 percent in December 2014. Despite the advance, export air passenger fares 
declined 15.0 percent in 2015, the largest calendar-year drop since the index was first published in 1987. 
The price index for export air freight edged down 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.4 percent over 
the past year. 

Import and Export Price Index data for January 2016 are scheduled for release on Friday, February 12, 2016 
at 8:30 a.m. (EST). 

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Last Modified Date: January 14, 2016