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.