Import price index down 6.1 percent between February 2015 and February 2016

March 15, 2016

Prices for U.S. imports decreased 6.1 percent between February 2015 and February 2016. Despite a downward trend over the past 8 months, the drop recorded in February was the smallest 12-month decline since the index fell 5.6 percent for the year ended in December 2014.

U.S. import price percent changes and relative importance for selected categories of goods, February 2015 to February 2016
Category Percent change, Feb 2015 to Feb 2016 Relative importance, Jan 2016

All commodities

-6.1 100.000

Nondurables, manufactured

1.9 13.383

Transportation equipment excluding motor vehicles

0.4 2.774

Automotive vehicles, parts & engines

-0.8 16.470

Durables, manufactured

-1.5 13.148

Nonmanufactured consumer goods

-1.8 1.536

Nonelectrical machinery

-2.3 22.945

Electric generating equipment

-2.4 3.559

Nonmetals related to durable goods

-2.7 1.727

Paper & paper base stocks

-3.7 0.591

Selected building materials

-4.9 1.299

Foods, feeds, & beverages

-5.1 6.250

Finished metals related to durable goods

-6.5 1.714

Materials associated with nondurable supplies & materials

-7.4 4.921

Unfinished metals related to durable goods

-21.3 3.142

Fuels & lubricants

-37.3 6.542

Prices for fuels and lubricants (which had a relative importance weight of 6.5, accounting for that percentage of trade value) declined 37.3 percent over the year ended in February 2015. A 38.5-percent decrease in petroleum prices contributed the most to the overall drop. Natural gas prices also fell for the year ended in February, declining 36.4 percent.

Prices for most categories with the largest relative weights also decreased, but much less than fuel prices. Prices for nonelectrical machinery (relative importance, 22.9 percent) declined 2.3 percent over the year. Prices for automotive vehicles, parts and engines (relative importance, 16.5 percent) decreased by 0.8 percent, and those of durables, manufactured (relative importance, 13.1 percent) by 1.5 percent.

These data are from the International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. To learn more, see "U.S. Import and Export Prices — February 2016" (HTML) (PDF). See charts on import and export price trends in Charts related to the latest "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes" news release.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Import price index down 6.1 percent between February 2015 and February 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/import-price-index-down-6-point-1-percent-between-february-2015-and-february-2016.htm (visited September 21, 2019).

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