Import prices up 3.0 percent in 2017

January 16, 2018

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.

Over-the-year percent change in U.S. import price indexes for selected categories of goods, December 2017
Category Percent change

Fuels & lubricants

18.4%

Unfinished metals related to durable goods

12.8

Selected building materials

10.2

Industrial supplies & materials, durable

9.2

Finished metals related to durable goods

8.7

Industrial supplies & materials excluding fuels

8.1

Industrial supplies & materials excluding petroleum

7.1

Materials associated with nondurable supplies & materials

6.5

Industrial supplies & materials nondurable excluding petroleum

4.3

Paper & paper base stocks

4.3

Nonmetals related to durable goods

2.3

Nondurables, manufactured consumer goods

1.3

Agricultural foods, feeds & beverages, excluding distilled beverages

1.1

Nonelectrical machinery

0.9

Electric generating equipment

0.5

Nonmanufactured consumer goods

-0.4

Durables, manufactured consumer goods

-0.9

Transportation equipment excluding motor vehicles

-1.2

Nonagricultural foods (fish, distilled beverages)

-1.3

Import fuel prices rose 18.4 percent in 2017, following a 24.7-percent  advance the previous year. Before 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.

Nonfuel import prices increased 1.4 percent in 2017, following a 0.2-percent advance the previous year. 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.

These data are from the International Price program. Import and export prices are subject to revision. To learn more, see "U.S. Import and Export Prices — December 2017" (HTML) (PDF). See more 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 prices up 3.0 percent in 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/import-prices-up-3-point-0-percent-in-2017.htm (visited September 15, 2019).

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