August 17, 2010
U.S. import prices increased 0.2 percent in July following declines in each of the 2 previous months. The advance was led by higher fuel prices, which more than offset a second consecutive drop in nonfuel prices.
Import prices (all imports) ticked up in July following declines of 0.8 percent in May and 1.3 percent in June. Despite the July increase, the index fell 2.0 percent over the past quarter, the largest 3-month decline since the quarter ended in February 2009. The price index for overall imports rose 4.9 percent for the year ended in July.
The increase in import prices was driven by a 2.1-percent advance in fuel prices. Import fuel prices had declined 4.9 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, in June and May prior to the upturn in July. Most of the increase in fuel prices resulted from a 2.0-percent advance in petroleum prices. A 5.3-percent rise in natural gas prices also contributed to the increase. Fuel prices rose 14.8 percent over the past year.
In contrast, nonfuel prices fell 0.3 percent in July after a 0.5-percent decline in June. Those were the first monthly decreases since a 0.2-percent drop in July 2009 and the largest since a 0.6-percent decline in March 2009. The July decline was driven by a 1.2-percent decrease in the price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. Despite the recent declines, nonfuel import prices advanced 2.8 percent over the past 12 months.
Export prices decreased in July, falling 0.2 percent after falling 0.7 percent in June.
These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. For more information, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — July 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-1104.