March 16, 2006
The U.S. Import Price Index declined 0.5 percent in February following a 1.4-percent increase in January.
Decreases for both nonpetroleum prices and petroleum prices, down 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, contributed to the overall downward movement in import prices. In contrast to the first three quarters of 2005, petroleum prices declined in four of the past five months, the exception being a 6.9-percent increase in January.
The February decrease in nonpetroleum prices was led by a 2.2-percent decline in the price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials. That decrease in turn was led by a sharp drop in natural gas prices. Excluding all fuels, import prices increased 0.2 percent and prices for industrial supplies and materials rose 1.4 percent.
Export prices were unchanged in February as a 1.1-percent decline in agricultural prices offset a 0.1-percent uptick in the price index for nonagricultural 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 - February 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 06-458.