U.S. import prices decrease 1.5 percent, January 2013 to January 2014

February 19, 2014

Despite increases in recent months, prices for overall imports declined 1.5 percent for the year ended in January 2014. Import prices have not recorded a year-over-year increase since a 0.9-percent rise between July 2012 and July 2013.

Percent changes in U.S. import price index for selected categories of goods, January 2013 to January 2014
CategoryAnnualMonthly
Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2014Sept. 2013 to Oct. 2013Oct. 2013 to Nov. 2013Nov. 2013 to Dec. 2013Dec. 2013 to Jan. 2014

All commodities

-1.5-0.6-0.90.20.1

Foods, feeds, & beverages

4.90.6-0.60.40.8

Industrial supplies & materials

-4.0-2.0-2.60.6-0.3

Capital goods

-0.60.00.1-0.10.2

Automotive vehicles, parts & engines

-1.60.00.00.0-0.2

Consumer goods, excluding automotives

0.10.00.1-0.20.7

Foods, feeds, and beverages import prices increased 4.9 percent over the past 12 months. Prices for industrial supplies and materials recorded a year-over-year decrease (‑4.0 percent).

Fuel prices (included in industrial supplies and materials) also fell over the past year, declining 3.1 percent. The 12-month drop in fuel prices was driven by a decrease in petroleum prices, though natural gas prices increased over the same period. Despite January increases, nonfuel import prices fell 1.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Import prices of capital goods and automotive vehicles, parts and engines both decreased (‑0.6 percent and ‑1.6 percent, respectively) over the January 2013–January 2014 period, while prices of consumer goods, excluding automotives increased slightly (0.1 percent). 

Overall import prices ticked up 0.1 percent from December 2013 to January 2014. Fuel prices fell for the third time in the past 4 months in January. The January drop was led by a decrease in petroleum prices, which more than offset an increase in natural gas prices. The price index for nonfuel imports increased in January. The increase was the largest monthly rise in nonfuel import prices since March 2012. In January, higher prices for consumer goods; capital goods; foods, feeds, and beverages; and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials contributed to the overall advance in nonfuel import prices. In contrast, automotive vehicle prices decreased in January.

These data are from the BLS International Price program. To learn more, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — January 2014" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-0218. Import and export price indexes are subject to revision.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, U.S. import prices decrease 1.5 percent, January 2013 to January 2014 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140219.htm (visited July 29, 2014).

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