August 12, 2010

Import Prices Rose in July on Increase in Fuel Prices

Export prices continued decline

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday, August 12, released import and export prices for July. After declining the two previous months, import prices increased 0.2%, driven by a rise in fuel prices. Fuel prices, which rose 14.8% over the past year, declined in May and June, but increased 2.1% in July. Natural gas prices also increased, rising 5.3% last month.

Despite the overall increase, nonfuel prices fell 0.3% after a 0.5% decline in June. A decrease in prices for industrial supplies and materials led July's decline. Over the past 12 months, however, nonfuel import prices rose 2.8%.

Export prices fell again in July, dropping 0.2% after a 0.7% decrease in June. The decline was led primarily by falling nonagricultural prices; BLS attributes 91% of the overall decrease in export prices to this cause.

After a 0.8% decline in June, nonagricultural prices fell 0.2% last month as a result of falling prices in industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and automotives. Over the past quarter, prices have fallen 0.6%.

Agricultural prices rose 2.4% over the past year on higher prices for cotton and meat, but fell 0.1% in July.

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