March 16, 2009
Import prices fell 0.2 percent in February after declining 1.2 percent in January. The index decreased every month since July 2008 and fell 12.8 percent for the year ended in February, the largest 12-month decline since the index was first published in 1982.
The February decrease in import prices was led by a 0.6-percent drop in nonpetroleum prices which fell for the seventh consecutive month. Nonpetroleum import prices declined 1.9 percent over the past year. In contrast, petroleum prices advanced 3.9 percent in February after falling 68.9 percent from July through January. The price index for import petroleum fell 52.4 percent for the February 2008-2009 period.
The continued decline in nonpetroleum prices was led by a 2.0-percent drop in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials prices. That decrease was driven by a sharp fall in natural gas prices, although lower prices for chemicals and some metals also contributed to the decline.
These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import price data are subject to revision. Learn more in "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes – February 2009" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0248.