June 13, 2005
The U.S. Import Price Index decreased 1.3 percent in May. The decline followed four consecutive increases, as decreases in both petroleum prices and nonpetroleum prices contributed to the May drop.
A downturn in petroleum prices, which fell 6.5 percent in May, contributed to the turnaround in overall import prices. Prices for import petroleum had risen 28.2 percent over the previous four months, which led a 4.9 percent increase in import prices over that period.
In addition, nonpetroleum import prices declined for the first time since October, decreasing 0.3 percent in May. The drop was only the second monthly decline for the index over the past year and was the largest decrease since August 2003. However, both nonpetroleum prices and overall import prices remained up over the past 12 months, rising 2.5 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.
Export prices decreased 0.1 percent in May, as falling nonagricultural prices more than offset an increase in the price index for agricultural exports.
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 - May 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-996.