U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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                        U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - SEPTEMBER 2017

U.S. import prices increased 0.7 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
after advancing 0.6 percent in August. The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.8 percent in September, after 
increasing 0.7 percent the previous month.


Hurricane Harvey and Irma: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a small impact on the collection of the 
import and export price index data for September, but no change in the estimation procedures. For more 
information on the impact, please see https://www.bls.gov/bls/hurricanes-harvey-irma-maria.htm. 


Imports

All Imports: Import prices rose 0.7 percent in September, the largest monthly rise since an increase of 0.7 
percent in June 2016. The last time import prices advanced by more than 0.7 percent was a 1.2-percent 
increase in May 2016. Higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the overall rise in 
import prices for September. Prices for U.S. imports also increased on a 12-month basis, advancing 2.7 
percent. 

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices increased 3.9 percent in September, after rising 4.4 percent in August. The 
monthly movements were the first advances since the index rose 0.3 percent in February, and the August 
rise was the largest advance since the index increased 6.1 percent in January. Prior to August, prices for 
import fuel fell 8.2 percent between February and July. The September advance was driven by a 4.5-percent 
rise in petroleum prices which more than offset a 7.8-percent drop in natural gas prices. Between September 
2016 and September 2017 the price index for import fuel increased 18.2 percent, led by a 20.1-percent 
advance in petroleum prices over the same period. Prices for natural gas declined 16.3 percent for the year 
ended in September.   

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports advanced 0.3 percent in September, 
following an identical increase in August. The major end-use categories largely increased in September and 
contributed to the rise in overall import prices. The most significant contributor was a 1.4-percent advance 
in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices, although rising prices for foods, feeds, and beverages, 
capital goods, and automotive vehicles also contributed to the September advance in nonfuel prices. Prices 
for nonfuel imports increased 1.3 percent for the year ended in September. 

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

2016

September

0.1 1.3 0.0 0.3 -1.0 0.5

October

0.5 6.6 0.0 0.2 0.5 0.2

November

-0.1 -1.1 -0.1 0.1 0.7 0.0

December

0.4 5.8 0.0 0.4 -0.2 0.4

2017

January

0.6 6.1 -0.1 0.2 0.4 0.2

February

0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.4 0.3

March

-0.2 -3.0 0.2 0.1 1.1 0.0

April

0.2 -0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.3

May

-0.1 -0.9 0.1 -0.6 -1.6 -0.4

June

-0.2 (r)-3.6 0.1 -0.1 -1.4 0.0

July

-0.1 -0.6 -0.1 0.5 1.9 0.3

August

0.6 (r)4.4 0.3 (r)0.7 0.1 (r)0.8

September

0.7 3.9 0.3 0.8 -0.7 1.0

Sept. 2015 to 2016

-1.1 -3.7 -0.6 -1.5 -3.1 -1.3

Sept. 2016 to 2017

2.7 18.2 1.3 2.9 2.2 3.0

Footnotes
(r) Revised


Exports

All Exports: U.S. export prices rose 0.8 percent in September following a 0.7-percent increase in August. 
The September advance was the largest monthly rise since an increase of 0.8 percent in June 2016. The last 
time the index increased by more than 0.8 percent was a 1.1-percent advance in May 2016. Prices for 
exports rose 2.9 percent over the past year. The September advance was driven by rising prices for 
nonagricultural commodities; agricultural export prices decreased in September.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports declined 0.7 percent in September, the first 
monthly decrease since the index fell 1.4 percent in June. Lower prices for meat, wheat, and corn drove the 
September decline. Despite the monthly decrease, export agricultural prices rose 2.2 percent over the past 
year, driven by increasing meat, wheat, and vegetable prices over the 12-month period.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices increased 1.0 percent in September 
following an advance of 0.8 percent in August. Rising prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials drove the overall increase in nonagricultural export prices in September, though higher prices for 
capital goods and automotive vehicles also contributed. The price index for nonagricultural exports 
advanced 3.0 percent for the year ended in September, led by rising nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials prices. 


                                    SELECTED SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS


Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China recorded no change in September, after edging 
down 0.1 percent in August. Prices for imports from China fell 0.7 percent for the year ended in September, 
the smallest over-the-year decline since the index fell 0.5 percent between April 2014 and April 2015. 
Import prices from Japan advanced 0.2 percent in September, the first monthly increase since the index rose 
0.2 percent in March. In September, rising petroleum prices contributed to higher import prices from 
Canada, the European Union, and Mexico. Import prices from Canada rose 0.5 percent, the price index for 
European Union imports advanced 0.3 percent, and prices for imports from Mexico increased 1.4 percent. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
rose 1.4 percent in September, after increasing 1.0 percent in August. Contributing to the September 
advance were a 4.4-percent increase in unfinished metals prices and a 1.8-percent rise in prices for finished 
metals. 

Finished Goods: Import prices for the finished goods categories were mixed in September. Prices for 
capital goods rose 0.1 percent following an identical increase in August. The advance was driven by a 1.6-
percent rise in prices for excavating, paving, and construction machinery. The price index for automotive 
vehicles rose 0.1 percent and the price index for consumer goods fell 0.1 percent. 

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Import foods, feeds, and beverages prices advanced 1.8 percent in 
September, the largest increase since a 3.1-percent rise in July 2016. The increase was led by a 12.5-percent 
rise in fruit prices which more than offset falling fish and shellfish prices.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares rose 8.5 percent in September after declining 10.6 
percent in August. Higher European and Asian fares contributed to the September advance, which was the 
largest monthly increase since the index rose 8.9 percent in June 2015. Import air passenger fares decreased 
3.7 percent over the past year. The price index for import air freight rose 0.4 percent in September and 19.6 
percent over the past 12 months. 


Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
export prices increased 3.1 percent in September after a 1.9-percent advance in August. The September 
increase was led by a 6.6-percent rise in fuel prices, with higher prices for nonferrous metals and chemicals 
also contributing to the overall advance.

Finished Goods: Export price indexes for both capital goods and automotive vehicles rose 0.1 percent in 
September. Capital goods prices have not recorded a monthly decline since a 0.1-percent drop in October 
2016, and the index advanced 1.2 percent over the past 12-months. The September increase was the second 
consecutive month in which prices for automotive vehicles advanced 0.1 percent, led by higher prices for 
passenger cars. The price index for consumer goods recorded no change in September. 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares declined 8.7 percent in September, driven by a 20.7-
percent decline in Asian fares which more than offset a 13.5-percent increase in European fares. Despite the 
September decline, the index rose 1.2 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. The price index for 
export air freight rose 0.2 percent in September and 3.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Import and Export Price Index data for October 2017 are scheduled for release on Thursday, November 16, 
2017 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: October 17, 2017