U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                              USDL-17-0034
8:30 a.m. (EST) Thursday, January 12, 2017

Technical information: (202) 691-7101 * MXPinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/mxp
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov


                         U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - DECEMBER 2016

Prices for U.S. imports rose 0.4 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
after a 0.2-percent decline the previous month. The advance in December was primarily driven by higher 
fuel prices which more than offset lower nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced in December, rising 
0.3 percent following a 0.1-percent decrease in November. 

Imports

All Imports: Import prices resumed an upward trend in December, rising 0.4 percent following a 0.2-
percent decline in November. Prices for overall imports advanced 1.8 percent between December 2015 and 
December 2016, the largest 12-month increase since the index rose 3.5 percent in March 2012. The increase 
in 2016 was the first calendar-year advance since import prices rose 8.5 percent in 2011. 

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel advanced 7.3 percent in December, the largest monthly increase since 
the index rose 10.5 percent in June. The December increase was primarily led by a 7.9-percent advance in 
petroleum prices. Natural gas prices also rose in December, increasing 2.2 percent. The price index for 
import fuel advanced 25.0 percent in 2016 following a 41.0-percent drop the previous year. The 2016 
increase was the first year that fuel prices rose since a 24.9-percent rise in 2011, and the largest calendar-
year advance since a 62.2-percent jump in 2009.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports declined for the third consecutive month 
in December, falling 0.2 percent. The December drop matched a 0.2-percent decline in June and those were 
the largest drops since the index decreased 0.3 percent in December 2015. In December 2016, the decrease 
was led by lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages as well as each of the finished goods areas. In 
contrast, nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose. Nonfuel import prices edged down 0.1 
percent in 2016 following a 3.4-percent drop the previous year. 

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

2015

December

-1.2 -10.0 -0.3 -1.1 -0.9 -1.1

2016

January

-1.3 -15.6 -0.1 -0.9 -1.3 -0.9

February

-0.5 -6.8 -0.1 -0.4 0.7 -0.6

March

0.4 8.5 -0.1 -0.1 -2.1 0.2

April

0.7 9.8 0.1 0.5 0.8 0.4

May

1.2 12.7 0.3 1.1 3.0 1.0

June

0.7 10.5 -0.2 0.8 2.5 0.5

July

0.1 -2.1 0.3 0.2 -0.3 0.3

August

-0.2 -3.4 0.0 -0.8 -3.4 -0.6

September

0.1 (r)1.3 0.0 0.3 (r)-1.0 0.5

October

0.4 (r)6.5 -0.1 0.2 0.5 0.2

November

(r)-0.2 (r)-2.2 -0.1 -0.1 0.6 -0.1

December

0.4 7.3 -0.2 0.3 -0.3 0.4

Dec. 2014 to 2015

-8.3 -41.0 -3.4 -6.6 -12.9 -5.9

Dec. 2015 to 2016

1.8 25.0 -0.1 1.1 -0.5 1.3

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: Export prices advanced 0.3 percent in December matching the 0.3-percent rise in September; 
those were the largest increases for the index since a 0.8-percent rise in June. In December, higher 
nonagricultural prices more than offset declining agricultural prices. Prices for overall exports rose 1.1 
percent for the year ended in December, the first 12-month increase since the index advanced 0.4 percent in 
August 2014 and the largest over-the-year rise since a 1.5-percent increase in February 2013. 

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports decreased 0.3 percent in December following a 0.6-
percent increase in November and a 0.5-percent advance in October. The December drop was led by an 8.0-
percent decline in vegetable prices and a 4.9-percent fall in fruit prices. The price index for agricultural 
exports declined 0.5 percent in 2016, after decreasing 12.9 percent in 2015. Agricultural prices have not 
recorded a calendar-year advance since the index rose 13.4 percent in 2012. 

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural prices increased 0.4 percent in December, after 
edging down 0.1 percent in November. The December increase was driven by higher prices for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials which more than offset lower finished goods prices. The 
price index for nonagricultural exports increased 1.3 percent in 2016, the first calendar-year advance since 
the index rose 4.0 percent in 2011. 


                                     SELECTED DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China recorded no change in December. The price 
index for imports from China declined 1.7 percent in 2016, the same decrease recorded in 2015; those are 
the largest calendar-year drops since the index fell 1.8 percent in 2009. Prices for imports from Japan also 
recorded no change in December, but in contrast to import prices from China, increased over the past year. 
The price index for imports from Japan rose 1.5 percent in 2016, the first calendar-year advance since a 0.7-
percent rise in 2012 and the largest since a 2.3-percent increase in 2011. Prices for imports from Canada and 
Mexico each rose in December, up 2.3 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Import prices from the 
European Union fell 0.2 percent in December. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
advanced 0.6 percent in December, after recording no change in November. The December advance was led 
by higher prices for steelmaking materials, chemicals, and industrial agricultural products. 

Finished Goods: Each of the major finished goods price indexes decreased in December. Consumer goods 
prices declined 0.3 percent for the second consecutive month, and decreased 1.0 percent in 2016. The 2016 
decline was the largest calendar-year decrease since consumer goods prices fell 1.2 percent in 2000. Prices 
for capital goods declined 0.2 percent in December and automotive vehicles prices edged down 0.1 percent. 

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: The price index for foods, feeds, and beverages declined 1.4 percent in 
December, after a 1.3-percent increase the previous month. The downturn was led by lower fruit prices 
which had contributed to the advance in November. 

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares advanced 1.3 percent in December following a 2.7-
percent drop the previous month. The December increase was driven by a 17.4-percent rise in Asian fares 
and an 8.3-percent advance in Latin American/Caribbean fares which more than offset falling European 
fares. Import air passenger fares declined for the second consecutive year, dropping 4.2 percent in 2016, 
after decreasing 9.9 percent in 2015. Prices for import air freight fell 0.7 percent in December and 0.9 
percent over the past 12 months. 

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
prices rose 2.0 percent in December, led by a 7.7-percent increase in export fuel prices. 

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices declined overall in December. Prices for consumer goods fell 
1.0 percent, the largest monthly decline since the index fell 1.4 percent in June 1991. Prices for automotive 
vehicles declined 0.2 percent. Capital goods prices recorded no change in December. Over the past year, the 
price indexes for consumer goods and automotive vehicles decreased 2.5 percent and 0.8 percent, 
respectively, in each case the largest calendar-year decline since the indexes were first published. 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares rose 7.7 percent in December following a 4.1-percent 
rise in November and a 2.5-percent advance in October. In December, European, Asian, and Latin 
American/Caribbean fares all increased. Overall export air passenger fares advanced 4.6 percent in 2016, 
after decreasing 14.6 percent the previous year. The price index for export air freight rose 0.2 percent in 
December; despite the advance, prices for export air freight fell 1.0 percent over the past 12 months. 

Import and Export Price Index data for January 2017 are scheduled for release on Friday, February 10, 2017 
at 8:30 a.m. (EST). 

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: January 12, 2017