Import and Export Prices Fall in August, Led by Oil

Oil TankerThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the import and export prices for the month of August. Prices fell on the overall readings, but this was driven down by specific sectors.

Export prices for the month of August fell 0.5%, against the Bloomberg estimate of -0.1%. The reading for the month of July was 0.1%. Over the course of the year, export prices have increased 0.4%, which has remained the same as in the previous year.

Excluding agricultural products, export prices fell 0.3% in the month of August, resulting in the increase of the yearly rate of 0.5%.

Import prices fell 0.9% against an estimate of -1.0%. The reading for the previous month was -0.3%. Over the course of the year, import prices have fallen 0.4% from the previous reading of an increase in 0.8%.

However, import prices were skewed for August by a 4.4% fall in petroleum products. Import prices, excluding petroleum, only fell by 0.1% in the month of August, compared to a fall of 0.2% in the month of July. Excluding petroleum products and looking at the year over year, we see import prices adjust back to 0.8% from -0.4%.

Initially a look at prices of finished goods, for both imports and exports, showed no major red flags. The largest yearly increase is exported consumer goods at 1.0%. Exported capital goods and imported consumer goods both increased 0.8% on the year.

Imported motor vehicles are down on the year at -0.7%, which is a small upturn from the July reading of -0.9%, the largest fall in motor vehicles since December 1992.

READ ALSO: Treasury Budget Deficit Narrows in August

Filed under: Economy
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