U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

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

Prices for U.S. imports ticked up 0.1 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 
today, following a 0.8-percent rise the previous month. Higher fuel prices more than offset a decline in the 
price index for nonfuel prices in December. In contrast, U.S. export prices edged down 0.1 percent in 
December, after advancing 0.5 percent in November.

Imports

All Imports: Import prices rose 0.1 percent in December following 0.8-percent advances in 2 of the 
previous 3 months. The index has not recorded a monthly decline since falling 0.2 percent in July. Prices for 
U.S imports increased 3.0 percent in 2017, after advancing 1.9 percent the previous year. The advance in 
2017 was the largest calendar-year increase since import prices rose 8.5 percent in 2011. 

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices increased 1.8 percent in December, after rising 8.4 percent in November. 
The price index for import fuel has not recorded a monthly decline since falling 1.0 percent in July. The 
December rise was driven by a 2.0-percent increase in petroleum prices which more than offset a 4.9-
percent decline in natural gas prices. Import fuel prices rose 18.4 percent in 2017 following a 24.7-percent 
advance the previous year. Prior to 2016, import fuel prices had not recorded a calendar-year increase since 
2011. In 2017, a 20.6-percent gain in petroleum prices more than offset a 15.7-percent drop in natural gas 
prices. 

All Imports Excluding Fuel: In contrast, the price index for nonfuel imports edged down 0.1 percent in 
December, the first monthly decline since a 0.1-percent drop in July. The decline in December was led by 
lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages; consumer goods; and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. 
Despite the December downturn, nonfuel import prices increased 1.4 percent in 2017, after a 0.2-percent 
advance the previous year. The 2017 rise was the largest calendar-year increase since the index advanced 
3.4 percent in 2011. In 2017, rising prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; 
consumer goods; and foods, feeds, and beverages all contributed to the advance in nonfuel prices. Of the 
major import areas, only prices for automotive vehicles decreased in 2017. 

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

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 -3.6 0.1 -0.1 -1.4 0.0

July

-0.2 -1.0 -0.1 0.5 1.8 0.3

August

0.6 4.0 0.3 0.6 0.0 0.7

September

0.8 5.7 0.3 0.8 -0.7 0.9

October

(r)0.2 (r)0.3 (r)0.0 0.1 (r)2.0 -0.1

November

(r)0.8 (r)8.4 (r)0.1 0.5 (r)-0.8 0.6

December

0.1 1.8 -0.1 -0.1 -0.4 0.0

Dec. 2015 to 2016

1.9 24.7 0.2 1.3 -0.3 1.4

Dec. 2016 to 2017

3.0 18.4 1.4 2.6 1.8 2.7

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports 

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports fell 0.1 percent in December, the first monthly decline for the index 
since a 0.1-percent decrease in June. The December drop was led by falling agricultural prices; the price 
index for nonagricultural prices recorded no change. Export prices rose 2.6 percent in 2017 following a 1.3-
percent rise in 2016. The 2017 advance was the largest calendar-year increase since 2011 when the index 
rose 3.6 percent. 

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices declined 0.4 percent in December, after decreasing 0.8 
percent in November. The December drop was driven by a 14.4-percent decline in vegetable prices, 
although lower fruit prices also contributed. Despite the December decrease, the price index for agricultural 
exports rose 1.8 percent in 2017, after a 0.3-percent drop the previous year. The 2017 advance was the first 
calendar-year rise since the index increased 13.4 percent in 2012. Higher meat prices were the largest 
contributor to the advance in agricultural prices in 2017. 

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports recorded no change in December 
following a 0.6-percent advance in November. In December, prices for capital goods and consumer goods 
advanced and prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and automotive vehicles decreased. 
The price index for nonagricultural exports rose 2.7 percent in 2017, the largest calendar-year increase since 
the index advanced 4.0 percent in 2011. The 2017 increase was primarily led by higher prices for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials. 

                                     SELECTED DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China declined 0.1 percent in December following a 
0.3-percent advance in November. Prices for imports from China fell 0.2 percent in 2017 and have not 
recorded a calendar-year advance since the index rose 3.6 percent in 2011. The price index for imports from 
Japan recorded no change in December, after falling 0.1 percent in November and 0.3 percent in October. 
Import prices from Japan fell 1.2 percent in 2017 following a 1.6-percent rise the previous 12 months. Prices 
for imports from the European Union increased 0.4 percent in December, the largest monthly advance since 
the index rose 0.8 percent in August. The price indexes for imports from Canada and Mexico each recorded 
no change in December following increases of 2.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, in November. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices edged down 
0.1 percent in December. The downturn was led by falling prices for unfinished metals and selected building 
materials. 

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mostly unchanged in December. Import consumer goods 
prices fell 0.1 percent and the indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles each recorded no change. 

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages declined 0.7 percent following a 
decrease of 1.7 percent in November. Both drops were driven by lower prices for fruit which fell 3.4 percent 
in December and 11.4 percent the previous month.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares increased 6.5 percent in December, after falling 2.3 
percent in November. The December advance was led by higher fares from Asia and the Latin 
America/Caribbean region. The index for import air passenger fares rose 4.2 percent in 2017 following a 
4.2-percent drop the previous year. The 2017 increase was the first calendar-year advance since the index 
rose 2.7 percent in 2014 and the largest since an 8.2-percent increase in 2013. Import air freight prices 
advanced 3.4 percent in December and 17.1 percent over the past year. 

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial 
supplies and materials fell 0.3 percent in December following a 2.1-percent increase in November. Lower 
prices for fuel and chemicals each contributed to the decline.

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mixed in December. The price indexes for capital goods and 
consumer goods rose 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Capital goods prices increased 1.5 percent in 
2017, the largest calendar-year advance since the index rose 1.8 percent in 2009. Prices for consumer goods 
advanced 0.5 percent over the past year, the first calendar-year rise since the index increased 3.5 percent in 
2011. In contrast, automotive vehicle prices edged down 0.1 percent in December.

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares rose 2.9 percent in December, after rising 0.5 percent 
in November. The December advance was led by a 12.5-percent rise in Asian fares which more than offset 
declining European fares. The index for export air passenger fares decreased 6.1 percent in 2017 following a 
4.7-percent increase the previous year. Export air freight prices declined 1.4 percent in December and 
advanced 8.2 percent over the past 12 months. 

Import and Export Price Index data for January are scheduled for release on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 
8:30 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 10, 2018