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Economic Data (USA)

Friday, July 14, 2006

U.S. Import and Export Price Indices for June, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the Price Indices for U.S. Imports and Exports for June, 2006 :

Import Prices
Consensus: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1%

Export Prices
Actual: +0.8%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices for

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the U.S.

  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the U.S. and sold in other countries.

Together, these indices offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well.

The "consensus" is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

The following is a snippet from today's Labor Department report:

"The U.S. Import Price Index rose 0.1 percent in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The increase was led by a 0.4 percent advance in nonpetroleum prices which more than offset a 1.4 percent downturn in petroleum prices. Export prices increased 0.8 percent in June after rising 0.6 percent the previous month.

Import Goods

Import prices rose for the third consecutive month, although the 0.1 percent advance in June was modest compared to the 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent increases in April and May, respectively. The June rise was dampened by a 1.4 percent decrease in petroleum prices, which had risen 17.8 percent over the previous two months. Despite the June downturn, petroleum prices rose 32.6 percent over the past year. In contrast, the price index for nonpetroleum import prices advanced 0.4 percent in May following increases of 0.1 percent in April and 0.7 percent in May. For the year ended in June, nonpetroleum import prices rose 2.2 percent while overall import prices increased 7.2 percent.

A 1.1 percent rise in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials prices was the largest contributor to the June increase in prices for nonpetroleum imports. Continued price rises for most metals more than offset lower prices for natural gas and building materials. The price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials increased 11.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Each of the major finished goods areas also contributed to the June rise in nonpetroleum import prices. Capital goods prices increased 0.3 percent, the first upward movement for the index in five months and the largest monthly advance since the index rose 0.3 percent in January 2005. Notwithstanding the June upturn, capital goods prices fell 1.1 percent for the past year. Automotive vehicle prices increased 0.2 percent, the largest one-month gain since October 2004. Prices of automotive vehicles rose 0.5 percent for the year ended in June. Consumer goods prices advanced 0.1 percent in June, but were down 0.1 percent over the past 12 months.

In contrast, food, feeds, and beverages prices declined 0.1 percent in June, led downward by lower prices for fruit and coffee. Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages increased 3.4 percent for the June 2005-2006 period.

Export Goods

Export prices rose 0.8 percent in June, the largest one-month increase since September 2005. Both agricultural and nonagricultural export prices contributed to the overall increase. Agricultural prices advanced 2.4 percent, the largest monthly increase for the index since March 2005. Higher prices for wheat, corn, and vegetables all impacted the increase. Despite the June rise, agricultural prices ticked down 0.2 percent over the past year. Nonagricultural prices rose 0.6 percent in June, continuing the recent upward trend for the index. Prices of nonagricultural exports rose 4.6 percent for the year ended in June, while overall export prices increased 4.2 percent for the same period.

The increase in nonagricultural prices was led by a 1.9 percent advance in the price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials. Higher prices for metals, which rose sharply for the second consecutive month, and chemicals outweighed a downturn in fuel prices. Higher prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles, up 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, also contributed to the increase in nonagricultural export prices. For the year ended in June, prices for consumer goods rose 1.6 percent, while automotive vehicle prices advanced a similar 1.4 percent.

Capital goods prices were unchanged in June after increasing in each of the previous three months. The index rose 0.2 percent over the past year."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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