U.S. import prices advanced 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The increase in each of the past two months was led by rising fuel prices.
The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.3 percent in September after falling the previous six months.
All Imports: Import prices rose 0.2 percent in September following a 0.2 percent advance the previous month. Those were the first monthly increases for the index since a 0.9 percent rise in February. Higher fuel prices were the largest contributor to the September advance in overall import prices, although nonfuel prices increased as well. Despite the recent advances, import prices declined 1.0 percent over the past 12 months, the second consecutive month of decreasing year-over-year changes.
Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuel rose 0.6 percent in September, after advancing 1.6 percent in August. In September, a 0.8 percent increase in petroleum prices, the largest component of imported fuels, more than offset a 6.9 percent drop in natural gas prices. Even with the September increase, fuel prices fell 0.2 percent over the past 12 months, led by a 0.4 percent drop in petroleum prices. In contrast, natural gas prices increased 8.3 percent over the past year.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices ticked up 0.1 percent in September, the first advance since a 0.1 percent rise in February. A 0.6 percent increase in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices was the largest contributor to the overall advance, while prices for foods, feeds, and beverages rose as well.
Despite the September increase, the price index for nonfuel imports fell 1.2 percent over the past year.
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Original content +Bob DeMarco , All American Investor