October 18, 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 September increased 0.7%, exceeding the consensus of 0.5% and up from August’s 0.6%. The past 12 months import prices increased by 2.7%. Export prices rose 0.8% in September, beating expectations of a 0.4% gain. Export prices year-over-year are up 2.9%.
September was the first time since July of 2016 that the export price index surpassed the import price index. Import prices in petroleum spiked 4.5% on top of last month’s 5.0% gain. Taking out fuel, all non-fuel imports increased 0.3% this month. On the export side, prices for agricultural exports dropped 0.7%; however, export prices minus agriculture increased 1.0%. Industrial supplies showed an increase in export prices by 3.1%.