January 14, 2005
Import prices fell 1.3 percent in December, the largest monthly decline for the index since April 2003.
Despite the December decrease, import prices were up 6.9 percent over the past year compared with a more modest 2.4-percent increase for the year ended in December 2003.
The December drop in overall import prices was led by lower petroleum prices, which fell 11.5 percent in December. In contrast to petroleum prices, the index for nonpetroleum import prices was up 0.5 percent in December.
Higher prices for each of the major goods categories contributed to the December increase in nonpetroleum prices. The price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials had the largest impact, up 1.3 percent in December and led primarily by higher prices for building materials and metals.
Export prices rose 0.2 percent in December as both agricultural and nonagricultural prices increased. The price index for overall exports grew over much of the past 12 months and was up 4.1 percent for that period following a 2.2 percent increase from December 2002-2003.
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 - December 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-56.