March 15, 2012
U.S. import prices increased 0.4 percent in February as higher fuel prices more than offset declining nonfuel prices. The price index for imports was unchanged in the two previous months. U.S. export prices also rose 0.4 percent in February after a 0.2-percent advance in January.
Prices for overall imports increased 5.5 percent over the past 12 months, the smallest year-over-year rise since the index advanced 5.3 percent between December 2009 and December 2010.
Click legend items to change data display.
Click legend items to change data display. [Chart data]
Fuel prices advanced 15.2 percent for the year ended in February. Both the monthly and 12-month rise in fuel prices were driven by higher petroleum prices, which advanced 1.8 percent in February and 18.4 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for nonfuel imports rose 2.3 percent for the year ended in February.
The 0.4-percent advance in export prices in February marked the largest monthly increase since a 0.5-percent rise in September. Higher nonagricultural prices more than offset a decline in the price index for agricultural exports. Despite recording the largest monthly increase in five months, overall export prices rose only 1.5 percent over the past 12 months, the smallest year-over-year advance since a 0.4-percent rise for the November 2008-09 period.
Agricultural prices decreased 6.2 percent over the past year. The price index for nonagricultural exports advanced 2.6 percent over the past 12 months.
These data are from the International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. For more information, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — February 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0449.