U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

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                          U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - MAY 2018

Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Rising fuel and nonfuel prices contributed to the advances in both months. 
U.S. export prices rose 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May. 


Imports

All Imports: Import prices increased 0.6 percent in May, continuing the upward trend that began in August 
2017. The May advance followed a 0.6-percent rise the previous month. The price index for overall imports 
increased 4.3 percent for the year ended in May, the largest 12-month advance since the index rose 4.7 
percent in February 2017. The May over-the-year advance was largely driven by higher fuel prices although 
nonfuel prices also increased over the past year. 

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices rose 4.9 percent in May, after a 4.1-percent advance in April. The May 
rise was the largest monthly increase since the index rose 9.8 percent in November 2017. In May, the 
advance in fuel prices was led by a 5.9-percent increase in petroleum prices which more than offset a 19.5-
percent drop in natural gas prices. Prices for import fuel increased 28.6 percent over the past 12 months, 
driven by a 31.9-percent rise in petroleum prices. In contrast, natural gas prices fell 18.5 percent over the 
past year.   

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices increased 0.2 percent for the second consecutive 
month in May and have not recorded a monthly decline since the index decreased 0.2 percent in December 
2017. The May advance was driven by higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer 
goods; and foods, feeds, and beverages. The price indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles both 
fell in May. Nonfuel prices advanced 1.9 percent over the past year, primarily led by higher prices for 
nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. 


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

2017

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

0.2 0.3 0.1 0.1 2.0 -0.1

November

1.0 9.8 0.0 0.5 -0.7 0.7

December

0.2 3.3 -0.2 0.1 -0.3 0.0

2018

January

0.8 3.3 0.5 0.7 0.0 0.8

February

0.2 -1.8 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.2

March

-0.2 (r)-2.7 0.1 0.3 3.2 0.0

April

(r)0.6 (r)4.1 0.2 0.6 -1.2 0.7

May

0.6 4.9 0.2 0.6 1.6 0.5

May 2016 to 2017

2.3 20.4 0.9 1.4 -0.1 1.6

May 2017 to 2018

4.3 28.6 1.9 4.9 4.9 4.9

Footnotes
(r) Revised


Exports

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent for the second consecutive month in May, led by 
higher prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports. Export prices have not recorded a monthly 
decline since the index edged down 0.1 percent in June 2017. The price index for overall exports advanced 
4.9 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, the largest 12-month increase since the index rose 6.3 
percent in October 2011. 

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports advanced 1.6 percent in May following a 
1.2-percent decline the previous month. The May increase was driven by a 10.1-percent advance in wheat 
prices, a 4.4-percent rise in corn prices, and a 1.8-percent increase in soybean prices. Prices for agricultural 
exports also rose over the past 12 months, advancing 4.9 percent.  

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices advanced 0.5 percent in May and have 
not recorded a monthly drop since the index fell 0.1 percent in October 2017. The increase was driven by 
higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, although rising prices for capital goods 
and automotive vehicles also contributed to the May rise. Prices for overall nonagricultural exports 
increased 4.9 percent for the year ended in May. 



                                        SELECTED MAY HIGHLIGHTS


Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China ticked up 0.1 percent in May, after falling 
0.1 percent the previous month. Import prices from China advanced 0.3 percent over the past 12 months, the 
largest over-the-year increase since the index rose 0.3 percent in July 2014. The price index for imports 
from Japan ticked up 0.1 percent in May, the same advance as recorded in April. Prices for imports from 
Japan increased 0.2 percent over the past year. Import prices from Canada, the European Union, and Mexico 
all rose in May, led in part by rising fuel prices. Import prices from Canada increased 1.9 percent, from the 
European Union 0.4 percent, and from Mexico 0.3 percent. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose 0.8 
percent in May following a 0.6-percent advance the previous month. In May, higher prices for metals and 
selected building materials more than offset lower chemicals prices.  

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mixed in May. Prices for capital goods and automotive 
vehicles each edged down 0.1 percent. The decline in capital goods prices was the first monthly drop since a 
0.1-percent decrease in November 2017. In contrast, prices for consumer goods ticked up 0.1 percent, led by 
higher prices for medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical materials.  

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices increased 0.4 percent in May, after 
falling 0.3 percent in April. Rising prices for fruit and grains were the largest contributors to the May 
advance. 

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares declined 2.5 percent in May following a 2.8-percent 
rise in April. The May decrease was driven by lower European and Latin American/Caribbean fares which 
more than offset rising Asian fares. Despite the May decrease, import air passenger fares rose 1.2 percent 
over the past 12 months. The price index for import air freight advanced 1.6 percent in May and 18.2 
percent over the past year.  


Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial 
supplies and materials advanced 1.6 percent in May, after rising 1.3 percent in April. Both increases were 
led by advancing fuel prices which rose 4.6 percent in May and 3.4 percent the previous month. 

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices recorded little movement in May. Capital goods prices ticked 
up 0.1 percent following a 0.6-percent rise in April. Prices for capital goods have not recorded a monthly 
decline since the index edged down 0.1 percent in October 2016. The price index for export automotive 
vehicles also rose 0.1 percent in May. In contrast, consumer goods prices fell 0.1 percent.  

Transportation Services: The index for export air passenger fares fell 11.4 percent in May following a 
16.2-percent increase the previous month. The May decline was driven by lower Asian and European fares. 
Export air passenger fares advanced 9.3 percent for the year ended in May. Prices for export air freight rose 
0.7 percent in May and 3.0 percent over the past 12 months. 

Import and Export Price Index data for June are scheduled for release on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. 
(EDT).


                         New Locality of Destination and Terms of Trade Data 


Beginning with the August news release on September 14, the BLS will introduce two new data series. 
Locality of Destination price indexes will measure export prices based on the country or region where items 
are exported. Terms of Trade indexes are based on the country or region and measure the relative price of 
imports in terms of export prices and are defined as the all-export price index divided by the respective all-
import price index. For more information on Terms of Trade indexes, please see "U.S. Import and Export 
Prices and the Terms of Trade" at www.bls.gov/opub/btn/archive/us-import-and-export-price-indexes-and-
the-terms-of-trade.pdf. 

The Locality of Destination price indexes will be published at the all-export level and also include a 
breakdown by manufacturing industries and nonmanufacturing industries where possible. The countries and 
regions for which indexes will be published include the Industrialized Countries, the European Union, Latin 
America, the Pacific Rim, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and Mexico. Indexes by manufacturing 
industries and nonmanufacturing industries will be available for all countries and regions except Canada and 
Germany. 

Terms of Trade indexes will be available for all countries and regions where both the import Locality of 
Origin index and the export Locality of Destination index are published. These include the Industrialized 
Countries, the European Union, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and 
Mexico.

The data series for both the Locality of Destination price indexes and the Terms of Trade indexes will begin 
in December 2017 when the indexes are first published on September 14.

In addition to the new indexes, the numbering of the tables in the Import and Export Price Index news 
release will be changing. Tables 1 through 7 will remain the same, and the new Locality of Destination data 
will be in table 8 and the new Terms of Trade data will be in table 9. The current table for Selected 
Transportation Services will change from table 8 to table 10. Other formatting changes to the text of the 
news release will be made. An example of the new format and tables will be provided before the September 
14 release date.  

The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: June 14, 2018