U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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                                U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - MAY 2017                                 

U.S. import prices declined 0.3 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after 
increasing 0.2 percent in April. Lower fuel prices drove the decrease in May and nonfuel prices recorded no 
change. The price index for U.S. exports declined 0.7 percent in May following a 0.2-percent advance in 
April.

Imports

All Imports: Import prices decreased 0.3 percent in May, the largest monthly drop since the index fell 0.5 
percent in February 2016. The decline was driven by falling fuel prices, unlike last month when higher 
nonfuel prices more than offset decreasing fuel prices. The price index for U.S. imports rose 2.1 percent for 
the 12 months ended in May. The last over-the-year decline in import prices was a 0.2-percent decrease in 
October 2016.

Fuel Imports: Prices for fuel fell 3.7 percent in May following a 0.3-percent drop in April and a 3.1-percent 
decrease in March. The last time fuel prices fell by more than 3.7 percent was a 6.8-percent decline in 
February 2016. The May decrease was primarily led by a 3.9-percent drop in petroleum prices. Natural gas 
prices also declined, falling 2.9 percent. Despite the recent decreases, import fuel prices increased 16.9 
percent between May 2016 and May 2017. The import price index for petroleum advanced 16.2 percent for 
the year ended in May and natural gas prices rose 44.1 percent.                           

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The nonfuel import price index recorded no change in May following a 0.8-
percent advance over the previous 3 months. Lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
offset price increases for foods, feeds, and beverages, and automotive vehicles. Capital goods prices and 
prices for consumer goods recorded no change in May. Nonfuel prices advanced 0.8 percent over the past 
12 months, continuing the trend of over-the-year increases since November when the index fell 0.2 percent. 
Rising prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, and beverages; and automotive 
vehicles more than offset lower prices for capital goods and consumer goods over the past year.                           
  
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

2016

May

1.2 12.7 0.3 1.1 3.0 1.0

June

0.7 10.5 -0.2 0.8 2.5 0.5

July

0.1 -2.1 0.3 0.2 -0.3 0.3

August

-0.2 -3.4 0.0 -0.8 -3.4 -0.6

September

0.1 1.3 0.0 0.3 -1.0 0.5

October

0.5 6.6 0.0 0.2 0.5 0.2

November

-0.1 -1.1 -0.1 0.1 0.7 0.0

December

0.4 5.8 0.0 0.4 -0.2 0.4

2017

January

0.6 6.1 -0.1 0.2 0.4 0.2

February

0.3 (r)0.3 (r)0.3 0.3 1.4 0.3

March

(r)-0.2 (r)-3.1 0.2 (r)0.2 (r)1.1 0.1

April

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

May

-0.3 -3.7 0.0 -0.7 -1.6 -0.6

May 2015 to 2016

-5.2 -30.6 -1.8 -4.5 -5.2 -4.4

May 2016 to 2017

2.1 16.9 0.8 1.4 0.1 1.5

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: The price index for overall exports fell 0.7 percent in May following increases of 0.2 percent 
in each of the previous 2 months. The May decrease was the first monthly drop since August 2016 when the 
index declined 0.8 percent. Prices for agricultural and nonagricultural exports contributed to the overall drop 
in export prices. The price index for U.S. exports rose 1.4 percent for the year ended in May.                                  

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports declined 1.6 percent in May, the first monthly 
decrease since a 0.2-percent drop in December. In May, decreasing prices for vegetables and fruit more than 
offset rising prices for soybeans, meat, wheat and corn. Prices for vegetable exports fell 24.9 percent in 
May, the largest monthly decline since February 1998 when the index fell 26.1 percent. Despite the May 
decline, agricultural export prices ticked up 0.1 percent over the past 12 months. Higher prices for 
vegetables, meats, and nuts all contributed to the rise in agricultural prices between May 2016 and May 
2017.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices decreased 0.6 percent in May, led by 
falling prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials which more than offset higher prices for 
both capital goods and consumer goods. Export prices for automotive vehicles recorded no change in May. 
The price index for nonagricultural exports rose over the past year, increasing 1.5 percent.

                                            SELECTED MAY HIGHLIGHTS                                             

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China and Japan recorded no change in May following 
0.1-percent declines in April and 0.2-percent increases in March. Prices for imports from China declined 1.1 
percent for the year ended in May. In contrast, the price index for imports from Japan increased 1.2 percent 
over the past year. Import prices from Canada decreased 0.6 percent in May, after a 0.1-percent advance in 
April and a 1.1-percent drop in March. Prices for imports from Mexico rose 0.2 percent in May and last 
recorded a monthly decline when the index fell 1.2 percent in January. Prices for imports from the European 
Union recorded no change in May. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices decreased 0.5 
percent in May, the first monthly decline since the index fell 0.6 percent in October. The drop was driven by 
falling prices for unfinished metals.
 
Finished Goods: Prices for the major finished goods categories were mixed. Automotive vehicles prices 
rose 0.1 percent in May, driven by a 0.3-percent advance in non-engine parts. Both capital goods and 
consumer goods prices recorded no change in May.
    
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages rose 1.2 percent in May, after a 0.5-
percent increase in April. A 3.1-percent advance in fruit prices, a 2.5-percent rise in meat prices, and a 3.2-
percent increase in vegetables prices all contributed to the monthly advance.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares rose 3.9 percent in May, driven by a 3.7-percent 
advance in European fares and a 6.2-percent increase in Asian fares. Despite the monthly increase, import 
air passenger fares fell 6.9 percent over the past 12 months. Import air freight prices rose 0.7 percent for the 
second consecutive month in May and 9.7 percent over the past year.

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The export price index for nonagricultural industrial 
supplies and materials fell 1.9 percent in May following a 0.4-percent rise in April and a 0.1-percent decline 
in March. Despite the monthly decrease, prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
increased 4.7 percent for the year ended in May and have not recorded a 12-month decline since October.
 
Finished Goods: Export prices for finished goods either increased or recorded no change in May. Export 
capital goods prices ticked up 0.1 percent, driven by a 0.4-percent advance in computers, peripherals, and 
semiconductors prices. The price index for export consumer goods rose 0.1 percent. Prices for automotive 
vehicles recorded no change in May, after a 0.2-percent rise in April.                        

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares increased 3.0 percent in May, after a 5.7-percent drop 
in April and a 3.0-percent advance in March. Asian and European fares contributed to the increase in May, 
rising 10.5 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively. The export air passenger fares index advanced 2.2 percent 
for the year ended in May. Export air freight prices increased 1.3 percent in May and rose 4.2 percent 
between May 2016 and May 2017.
		
Import and Export Price Index data for June 2017 are scheduled for release on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 
8:30 a.m. (EDT).    

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Last Modified Date: June 15, 2017