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November 1983, Vol. 106, No. 11
Import prices decline, export indexes mixed
in the first 6 months of 1983
U.S. import prices, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics International Price Program, fell 2.8 percent in the first half of 1983, after falling 2.9 percent for all of 1982.1 (See table 1.) The import price drop contributed to the greatly reduced rate of increase in domestic inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index.2 At the same time, however, the strength of the U.S. dollar abroad and the slow pace of the worldwide economic recovery moderated price rises for U.S. exports.
The price indexes discussed in this article, which are not seasonally adjusted, are based on transaction price information provided by a sample of importers and exporters and their products.3 They represent 100 percent of the value of all imported products, and 83 percent of the value of all exported products. Indexes are published for 60 detailed and aggregate categories of imports and exports.
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1 In this article, the "all-import-price index" refers to the all-commodities-import price index, excluding chemicals. This measure accounts for 96.5 percent of the value of all imports. A new all-import index which includes chemicals and covers 100 percent of the value of all imports is now available, starting with fourth-quarter 1982 data.
2 For a detailed look at import-export price movements in 1982, see Mark J. Johnson, "U.S. import-export prices in 1982," Monthly Labor Review, May 1983, pp. 20-29.
3 Import price indexes are weighted by 1980 import values and are published on an f.o.b. (free-on-board) foreign port of e.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) U.S. port basis. Export price indexes are weighted by 1980 U.S. merchandise export trade values and are published on an f.o.b. factory of f.a.s. (free-alongside-ship) U.S. port basis. See "International Price Program" (Washington, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
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