U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

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

U.S. import prices increased 0.6 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
following declines in the previous 3 months. The price index for U.S. exports also advanced 0.6 percent in 
August, after increasing 0.5 percent in July.


Hurricane Harvey: Hurricane Harvey did not impact the collection of the import and export price index 
data for August because the reference period for the data is the first week of the month. 


Imports

All Imports: Import prices rose 0.6 percent in August, the first monthly rise since a 0.2-percent increase in 
April and the largest advance since the index rose 0.6 percent in January. The last time import prices 
recorded a larger increase was a 0.7-percent advance in June 2016. Higher import prices for both fuel and 
nonfuel contributed to the rise in August. Prices for U.S. imports also increased over the past 12 months, 
advancing 2.1 percent. 

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices increased 4.2 percent in August, the first monthly advance since the index rose 
0.3 percent in February and the largest advance since the index increased 6.1 percent in January. Prior to 
August, prices for import fuel fell 8.3 percent between February and July. The August advance was driven 
by a 4.8-percent rise in petroleum prices which more than offset a 5.7-percent drop in natural gas prices. 
The price index for import fuel increased 15.0 percent between August 2016 and August 2017, led by a 
15.8-percent advance in petroleum prices over the same period. Prices for natural gas ticked up 0.1 percent 
for the year ended in August. 

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports advanced 0.3 percent in August, after 
edging down 0.1 percent in July. In August, advances for each of the major end-use categories contributed 
to the overall rise in nonfuel prices. Prices for nonfuel imports increased 1.0 percent over the past year. The 
rise was led by a 3.9-percent advance in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices, although rising 
prices for each of the major finished goods categories and foods, feeds, and beverages also contributed to 
the overall advance in nonfuel prices. 

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

August

-0.2 -3.4 0.0 -0.8 -3.4 -0.6

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 (r)-0.6 -1.6 -0.4

June

-0.2 (r)-3.7 0.1 (r)-0.1 -1.4 0.0

July

(r)-0.1 (r)-0.6 -0.1 (r)0.5 (r)1.9 0.3

August

0.6 4.2 0.3 0.6 0.1 0.7

Aug. 2015 to 2016

-2.2 -12.9 -0.9 -2.4 -3.5 -2.3

Aug. 2016 to 2017

2.1 15.0 1.0 2.3 1.9 2.4

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: U.S. export prices rose 0.6 percent in August following a 0.5-percent increase the previous 
month. The August advance was the largest monthly rise since the index increased 0.8 percent in June 2016. 
Prices for exports advanced 2.3 percent over the past year. Both agricultural export prices and 
nonagricultural export prices contributed to the August and 12-month increases for overall export prices.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports ticked up 0.1 percent in August, after rising 
1.9 percent in July. In August, higher prices for soybeans and other oilseeds, fruit, and meat more than 
offset lower wheat and corn prices. Export agricultural prices increased 1.9 percent over the past year, 
driven by increasing meat, wheat, and vegetable prices.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices advanced 0.7 percent in August 
following a 0.3-percent rise the previous month. The increase was the largest monthly advance since a 1.0-
percent rise in May 2016. In August, the increase was driven by rising nonagricultural industrial supplies 
and materials prices. Each of the major finished goods categories also contributed to the overall increase in 
nonagricultural export prices in August. The price index for nonagricultural exports advanced 2.4 percent 
for the year ended in August, led by rising nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices. 


                                      SELECTED AUGUST HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China recorded no change in August, after edging up 
0.1 percent in July. Prices for imports from China fell 0.7 percent for the year ended in August, the smallest 
over-the-year decline since the index fell 0.5 percent between April 2014 and April 2015. Import prices 
from Japan decreased 0.5 percent in August following declines of 0.2 percent in July and 0.1 percent in 
June. In contrast, rising petroleum prices contributed to higher import prices from Canada, the European 
Union, and Mexico in August. The price index for imports from Canada rose 1.4 percent, import prices from 
the European Union advanced 0.8 percent, and prices for imports from Mexico increased 0.6 percent. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose 0.8 
percent in August, after decreasing 0.5 percent the previous month. The August advance was led by a 2.5-
percent increase in unfinished metals prices and a 2.2-percent rise in prices for selected building materials. 

Finished Goods: Each of the major finished goods categories recorded increasing prices in August. 
Automotive vehicles prices rose 0.2 percent in August following a 0.2-percent decline in July. The August 
increase was driven by a 0.4-percent advance in automotive parts prices. The price indexes for capital goods 
and consumer goods each ticked up 0.1 percent in August. 

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Import foods, feeds, and beverages prices advanced 0.3 percent in August, 
after edging down 0.1 percent in July. The August increase was led by a 1.8-percent rise in fruit prices 
which more than offset falling meat prices.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares declined 10.6 percent in August following a 2.8-
percent drop in July. Lower European and Asian fares contributed to the August decline which was the 
largest monthly drop since the index was first published on a monthly basis in December 2000. Import air 
passenger fares decreased 7.4 percent over the past year. The price index for import air freight rose 0.2 
percent in August and 20.4 percent over the past 12 months. 

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
prices increased 1.7 percent in August, after rising 0.6 percent in July. The August increase was led by a 
4.3-percent rise in fuel prices; higher prices for nonferrous metals and chemicals also contributed to the 
overall advance.

Finished Goods: The price index for each of the major finished goods categories rose 0.2 percent in 
August. Capital goods prices have not risen by more than 0.2 percent since a 0.3-percent advance in 
February 2014; the index has not recorded a decline since edging down 0.1 percent in October 2016. The 
0.2-percent increase in consumer goods prices followed a 0.5-percent advance in July and was led by higher 
medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical prices. The 0.2-percent advance in automotive vehicles prices was 
driven by a 0.5-percent increase for transport vehicle prices. 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares declined 1.3 percent in August and 1.5 percent over 
the past 12 months. The August decrease was driven by a 14.1-percent drop in European fares which more 
than offset a 16.4-percent rise in Asian fares. The price index for export air freight fell 0.3 percent in 
August. Despite the decline, export air freight prices advanced 2.7 percent for the year ended in August.

Import and Export Price Index data for September 2017 are scheduled for release on Tuesday, October 17, 
2017 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: September 19, 2017