U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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				U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - MAY 2015

U.S. import prices increased 1.3 percent in May following declines in each of the previous 10 months, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The May advance was driven by an increase in fuel prices. 
The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent in May, after a 0.7-percent decrease in April. 

Imports

All Imports: U.S. import prices advanced 1.3 percent in May, after decreasing 0.2 percent in April and 
March, and 0.4 percent in February. The May increase was the first monthly rise since the index advanced 
0.3 percent in June 2014 and the largest 1-month increase since the index rose 1.4 percent in March 2012. 
Despite the May increase, prices for imports decreased 9.6 percent over the past year, and have not recorded 
a 12-month rise since the index advanced 0.9 percent between July 2013 and July 2014.          

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel rose 11.8 percent in May following a 1.3-percent advance in April and 
a 1.4-percent increase in March. The May rise was the largest monthly advance since the index increased 
16.0 percent in June 2009. A 12.7-percent jump in petroleum prices in May led the advance in overall fuel 
prices. The price index for import natural gas declined 0.2 percent in May. Despite the May increase, fuel 
prices fell 40.0 percent over the past year. A 40.6-percent drop in petroleum prices and a 41.9-percent 
decrease in natural gas prices both contributed to the overall decline.         

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports recorded no change in May, after 
decreasing 0.3 percent the previous month. Nonfuel import prices have not increased on a monthly basis 
since the index ticked up 0.1 percent in July 2014. In May, rising prices for foods, feeds, and beverages 
offset lower prices for capital goods; nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; and automotive vehicles. 
Prices for nonfuel imports fell 2.2 percent for the year ended in May. Decreasing prices for finished goods; 
nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; and foods, feeds, and beverages all contributed to the overall 12-
month decline.            

Table A. Percent change in Import and Export Price Indexes, selected categories

Month IMPORTS EXPORTS
All
imports
Fuel
imports
Nonfuel
imports
All
exports
Agri-
cultural
exports
Non-
agricultural
exports

2014

May

0.3 1.2 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.0

June

0.3 1.6 -0.1 -0.5 -1.9 -0.3

July

-0.3 -1.5 0.1 0.1 -1.8 0.2

August

-0.8 -3.8 0.0 -0.5 -3.1 -0.2

September

-0.8 -3.6 -0.2 -0.4 -1.6 -0.2

October

-1.4 -6.8 -0.1 -0.9 -2.2 -0.7

November

-1.8 -9.3 -0.3 -0.9 0.1 -1.0

December

-2.5 -15.0 -0.1 -0.9 -0.7 -1.0

2015

January

-3.2 -20.1 -0.7 -1.7 -1.4 -1.8

February

-0.4 (r)-1.9 -0.2 -0.2 (r)-2.2 (r)0.2

March

-0.2 (r)1.4 -0.4 0.1 -1.7 0.2

April

(r)-0.2 (r)1.3 (r)-0.3 -0.7 (r)-0.9 -0.7

May

1.3 11.8 0.0 0.6 -1.0 0.7

May 2013 to 2014

0.5 3.8 -0.2 0.6 1.4 0.5

May 2014 to 2015

-9.6 -40.0 -2.2 -5.9 -16.8 -4.6

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports increased 0.6 percent in May following a 0.7-percent drop the previous 
month. The May advance was the largest rise for the index since a 0.9-percent increase in March 2014. In 
May, rising nonagricultural prices more than offset lower agricultural prices. Despite the May upturn, the 
price index for overall exports declined 5.9 percent over the past 12 months.               

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices rose 0.7 percent in May, after falling 
0.7 percent in April. The May increase in nonagricultural export prices was led by higher prices for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and automotive vehicles which more than offset lower 
prices for capital goods and consumer goods. Nonagricultural export prices fell 4.6 percent for the year 
ended in May.    

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports declined 1.0 percent in May, continuing the 
downward trend over the past 12 months. In May, falling wheat and corn prices more than offset higher 
prices for fruit and nuts. Agricultural export prices fell in every month over the past year except for a 0.1-
percent uptick in November 2014, decreasing 16.8 percent over that period. The 12-month drop in May was 
the largest year-over-year decline since a 22.5-percent drop between July 2008 and July 2009.                                    

					  SELECTED MAY HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China declined 0.3 percent in May, after recording 
no change in April. The May decline was driven by a 0.7-percent drop in the price index for computer and 
electronic products, and was the largest 1-month decline since the index decreased 0.6 percent in May 2013. 
Import prices from Japan continued to trend down in May, declining 0.1 percent following a 0.5-percent 
drop in April. Prices for imports from Japan have not recorded a monthly increase since the index rose 0.2 
percent in March 2014. In May, the price indexes for imports from Canada, the European Union, and 
Mexico advanced 2.2 percent, 0.7 percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively, led by rising fuel prices.               

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices edged down 
0.1 percent in May following a 0.8-percent drop in April. In May, a 3.6-percent decline in iron and steel 
products and a 5.9-percent drop in lumber prices drove the decrease in nonagricultural industrial supplies 
and materials prices.  
 
Finished Goods: Prices for import finished goods were mostly down in May. Capital goods prices declined 
0.2 percent, after a 0.3-percent drop the previous month. The May decrease was led by a 1.2-percent drop in 
computer prices. Automotive vehicles prices edged down 0.1 percent in May following no change in April. 
Prices for consumer goods recorded no change in May.         
    
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: In contrast to the other major import categories, the price index for import 
foods, feeds, and beverages rose 0.3 percent in May, after declining 1.0 percent the previous month. In May, 
a 9.1-percent advance in vegetable prices more than offset lower prices for fish and shellfish.         

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares rose 1.9 percent in May following decreases in each of 
the previous 4 months. The May advance was driven by higher European and Asian fares. Despite the 
increase, import air passenger fares fell 2.9 percent over the past year. Import air freight prices declined 0.4 
percent in May and 0.2 percent over the past 12 months.            

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials increased 2.4 percent in May, the largest monthly advance since the index rose 3.3 percent in 
March 2011. The May advance in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices was driven by an 
8.3-percent rise in fuel prices.   

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices were mixed in May. The price indexes for capital goods and 
for consumer goods each edged down 0.1 percent following larger decreases the previous month. In April, 
consumer goods prices fell 0.4 percent and prices for capital goods declined 0.2 percent. In contrast, 
automotive vehicle prices rose 0.2 percent in May, after recording no change the previous month.         

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares advanced 3.0 percent in May following a 3.6-percent 
drop the previous month. The May increase was led by a 9.1-percent rise in Asian fares and a 4.3-percent 
advance in European fares. Export air passenger fares decreased 12.9 percent for the year ended in May. 
The price index for export air freight declined 0.5 percent in May and 2.0 percent over the past year.        

Import and Export Price Index data for June 2015 are scheduled for release on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 
8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: June 11, 2015