The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

U.S. Import & Export Prices Down in April

Falling nonfuel prices more than offset higher fuel prices in April.

Prices for U.S. imports declined 0.3 percent in April, after decreasing 0.2 percent in March and 0.4 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April, falling nonfuel prices more than offset higher fuel prices. The price index for U.S. exports fell 0.7 percent in April following a 0.1 percent rise the previous month.

Prices for U.S. imports declined 0.3 percent in March, and have not recorded a monthly advance since the index rose 0.3 percent in June 2014. Overall, import prices fell 11.2 percent between June 2014 and April 2015, and the index decreased 10.7 percent over the past year. Most of the decline since June 2014 resulted from lower fuel prices, as nonfuel prices declined 2.2 percent over the period.

Import fuel prices increased 0.7 percent in April, after rising 1.2 percent the previous month. The March advance was the first monthly increase in fuel prices since the index rose 1.6 percent in June 2014. In April, a 1 percent advance in petroleum prices more than offset a 7 percent drop in natural gas prices. Despite the recent increases, fuel prices declined 46.1 percent for the year ended in April. Both a 47 percent decrease in petroleum prices and a 45.2-percent drop in natural gas prices contributed to the overall year-over-year decline in fuel prices.

Prices for nonfuel imports declined 0.4 percent for the second consecutive month in April. Prices for nonfuel imports last recorded a monthly advance when the index edged up 0.1 percent in July 2014. In April, lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; foods, feeds and beverages; and consumer goods all contributed to the decline in nonfuel prices. The price index for automotive vehicles recorded no change. The price index for nonfuel imports declined 2.3 percent over the past 12 months. Each of the major finished goods categories decreased over that period.

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