September Import Prices Unexpectedly Rises 0.3%

Shipping Containers

September import prices climbed 0.3% month-over-month versus economists’ expectation for a 0.5% decline.

Expectations ranged from a 1.2% decline to a 0.4% rise.

Export prices increased 0.4%.

From the BLS:

All Imports: Import prices advanced 0.3 per cent in September after falling 0.2 per cent the previous month.
Overall, import prices have not changed by more than 0.6 per cent in any month since rising 2.6 per cent in April. Higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the September advance. The price index for overall imports increased 13.4 per cent over the past 12 months, led by a sharp rise in fuel prices. A 5.5 per cent advance in nonfuel prices also contributed to the overall increase.

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices ticked up 0.1 per cent in September, but declined in three of the past five months, falling 4.1 per cent over that period. Despite the recent decreases, fuel prices rose 43.4 per cent for the year ended in September. For September, import petroleum prices advanced 0.3 per cent after falling 1.6 per cent in August. Petroleum prices increased 45.9 per cent over the past 12 months. Natural gas prices declined 4.8 per cent in September, yet rose 9.2 per cent for the September 2010-11 period.   

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports increased 0.2 per cent in September. Rising nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices were the largest contributor to the higher nonfuel prices, although foods, feeds, and beverages prices and prices for each of the major finished goods categories all recorded increases for the month. The price index for nonfuel imports rose 5.5 per cent over the past year. The largest previous year-over-year advance was 6.1 per cent for the year ended September 2008. 

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