November 16, 2017 – Import prices tell us the cost of products that are produced abroad and purchased in the U.S., while exports are goods produced in the U.S. but purchased abroad.
Import prices in October increased 0.2%, below the consensus of 0.5% and down from September’s revised 0.8%. The past 12 months import prices increased by 2.5%. Export prices remained unchanged in October, missing expectations of a 0.1% gain. Export prices year-over-year are up 2.7%.
Similar to September, the import price index for this month was mostly driven by a 1.4% increase in fuel import prices. For exports, agricultural exports jumped from -0.7% in September to 1.9% in October. However, since fuel and agriculture tend to be the most volatile components of imports and exports, we get a more accurate reading when these components are taken out.