September 10, 2004
Import prices increased 1.7 percent in August, the tenth increase in the past eleven months and the largest monthly rise for the index since February 2003.
The increase was led again by higher petroleum prices, up 9.6 percent in August and 40.4 percent over the past year. The August price index for petroleum imports was at its highest level since publication began in 1982.
Nonpetroleum prices also contributed to the overall increase in import prices, rising 0.4 percent last month and marking the largest gain for that index since rising the same amount in February. Prices for nonpetroleum imports had been unchanged in July and were up 3.2 percent for the year ended in August. Overall import prices rose 7.2 percent over the same period.
Overall export prices fell 0.5 percent in August, the second decline in the past three months following an upward trend since September 2003. The August decline was driven by an 8.5-percent decrease in agricultural prices, the third consecutive decline for that index and the largest one-month decrease since monthly publication began in 1989.
These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. Learn more in "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes - August 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-1763.