Import prices down again in November 2008

December 12, 2008

Import prices fell 6.7 percent in November after decreases of 5.4 percent, 3.5 percent, and 3.1 percent in October, September, and August, respectively. The November decline was the largest one-month drop since the index was first published monthly in December 1988.

Over-the-month percent change in price indexes for petroleum and nonpetroleum imports, November 2007–November 2008 (not seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

The 17.4-percent decrease over the past four months was the largest four-month decline since the index was first published in September 1982. Import prices decreased 4.4 percent for the year ended in November; in contrast, prices for imports increased 21.4 percent from July 2007 to July 2008.

The four-month decline in import prices was largely driven by falling petroleum prices, which decreased 25.8 percent in November after declining 19.8 percent, 11.2 percent, and 9.8 percent, respectively, in October, September, and August. The November drop in petroleum prices was the largest monthly decline since the index was first published monthly in December 1988 and the 52.3-percent decrease over the past four months was the largest four-month decline since the index was first published in June 1982. For the November 2007-2008 period, petroleum prices fell 29.0 percent.

The price index for nonpetroleum imports fell 1.8 percent in November, the largest decrease since the index was first published monthly in December 1988. Despite the recent declines, the index increased 2.4 percent over the past year.

These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import price data are subject to revision. Learn more in "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes -- November 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1804.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Import prices down again in November 2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/dec/wk2/art05.htm (visited October 25, 2014).

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