May 11, 2012
U.S. import prices declined 0.5 percent in April 2012, following a 1.5-percent increase in March. The April decrease was driven by lower fuel prices, which more than offset a small increase in nonfuel prices. The price index for overall U.S. exports rose 0.4 percent in April 2012 after a 0.8-percent increase in March.
Import prices rose 0.5 percent from April 2011 to April 2012. That was the smallest 12-month advance since the index last recorded a year-over-year decrease in October 2009. Export prices advanced 0.7 percent from April 2011 to April 2012, the smallest year-over-year increase since the index rose 0.4 percent from November 2008 to November 2009. The 12-month increase in export prices in April was led by higher nonagricultural prices, which more than offset declining agricultural prices over the past year.
The price index for imports from industrialized countries (which include Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) declined 1.1 percent from April 2011 to April 2012. Prices for imports from other countries rose 1.0 over the same period. Prices rose from April 2011 to April 2012 for imports from the European Union (1.6 percent), the Pacific Rim (0.7 percent), China (2.0 percent), and Japan (0.6 percent). Prices declined from April 2011 to April 2012 for imports from Canada (−5.6 percent), Latin America (−0.9 percent), and Mexico (−3.1 percent).
These data are from the International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision in each of the three months after original publication. For more information, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — April 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0894.