Friday, October 14, 2011


U.S. import prices rose 0.3 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Over the past five months, import prices have shown little net change. Export prices increased 0.4 percent in September after advancing 0.5 percent the previous month.

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All Imports: Import prices advanced 0.3 percent in September after falling 0.2 percent the previous month.

Overall, import prices have not changed by more than 0.6 percent in any month since rising 2.6 percent in
April. Higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the September advance. The price index for overall imports increased 13.4 percent over the past 12 months, led by a sharp rise in fuel prices. A 5.5 percent advance in nonfuel prices also contributed to the overall increase.

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices ticked up 0.1 percent in September, but declined in three of the past five months, falling 4.1 percent over that period. Despite the recent decreases, fuel prices rose 43.4 percent for the year
ended in September.

For September, import petroleum prices advanced 0.3 percent after falling 1.6 percent in August. Petroleum prices increased 45.9 percent over the past 12 months. Natural gas prices declined 4.8 percent in September, yet rose 9.2 percent for the September 2010-11 period.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports increased 0.2 percent in September. Rising nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices were the largest contributor to the higher nonfuel prices, although
foods, feeds, and beverages prices and prices for each of the major finished goods categories all recorded increases for the month. The price index for nonfuel imports rose 5.5 percent over the past year. The largest previous year-over-year advance was 6.1 percent for the year ended September 2008.


All Exports: Export prices increased 0.4 percent in September after rising a similar 0.5 percent in August, resuming an upward trend following a 0.3 percent downturn in July. Higher prices for agricultural and nonagricultural exports each contributed to the advance. Prices for U.S. exports rose 9.5 percent over the past year. Despite increasing in August and September, the 12-month increase in export prices is less than the recent peak of 10.1 percent recorded in June.

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports rose 1.6 percent in September after a 2.1 percent increase the previous month. For the second consecutive month, higher prices for wheat, corn, and soybeans, up 13.3 percent, 5.2 percent, and 3.6 percent, respectively, in September drove the overall advance.

Agricultural prices increased 22.9 percent over the past year, led by rising prices for corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports advanced 0.3 percent for the second consecutive month in September. The increase was led by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, while finished goods prices were mixed. Prices for nonagricultural exports rose 8.0 percent over the past year.

Detailed ReportU.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

Original content Bob DeMarco, All American Investor