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Import prices down 4.1 percent, export prices down 3.6 percent over the year ended March 2020

April 20, 2020

U.S. import prices declined 4.1 percent from March 2019 to March 2020. The decrease was the largest over-the-year drop since the index fell 4.7 percent for the 12 months ended June 2016. Over the same time, U.S. export prices fell 3.6 percent, the largest 12-month decrease since a 4.5-percent decline from May 2015 to May 2016.

U.S. import and export price indexes for selected categories, percent change, March 2019 to March 2020
Category Percent change

All imports

-4.1%

Fuel

-36.2

Foods, feeds, and beverages

0.1

Industrial supplies and materials

-15.6

Capital goods

-1.2

Automotive vehicles, parts and engines

0.5

Consumer goods, excluding automotives

-0.6

All exports

-3.6

Agriculture

-2.2

Foods, feeds, and beverages

-1.8

Industrial supplies and materials

-11.2

Capital goods

0.8

Automotive vehicles, parts and engines

-0.3

Consumer goods, excluding automotives

-0.2

Import fuel prices fell 36.2 percent over the year ended March 2020; lower petroleum prices and natural gas prices both contributed to the decline. Prices for nonfuel imports decreased 0.5 percent for the year ended in March.

Prices for agricultural exports fell 2.2 percent over the year ended March 2020, the largest 12-month drop since the index decreased 5.3 percent for the year ended May 2019. Prices for nonagricultural exports fell 3.7 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year decrease since a 3.8-percent decline for the year ended June 2016.

These data are from the International Price program. Import and export prices are subject to revision. To learn more, see “U.S. Import and Export Prices — March 2020.” See more charts on import and export price trends in Charts related to the latest “U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes” news release.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Import prices down 4.1 percent, export prices down 3.6 percent over the year ended March 2020 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/import-prices-down-4-point-1-percent-export-prices-down-3-6-percent-over-the-year-ended-march-2020.htm (visited August 04, 2020).

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