Economic News Release

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                            USDL-15-0564
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, April 10, 2015

Technical information: (202) 691-7101 * MXPinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/mxp
Media contact:	       (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov


                              U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - MARCH 2015

U.S. import prices fell 0.3 percent in March following a 0.2-percent upturn the previous month, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In March, lower nonfuel prices more than offset a rise in fuel 
prices. The price index for U.S. exports rose in March, ticking up 0.1 percent, after declining 0.2 percent in 
February.

Imports

All Imports: Import prices decreased 0.3 percent in March, after increasing 0.2 percent in February, the 
first monthly advance recorded since a 0.3-percent rise in June 2014. Prior to February, import prices 
decreased 10.3 percent from June 2014 to January 2015. U.S. import prices declined 10.5 percent over the 
past year, the largest 12-month decrease since the index fell 12.0 percent for the year ended September 
2009.

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices increased for the second consecutive month in March, rising 0.4 percent, after a 
3.9-percent advance in February. Fuel prices had fallen 47.6 percent between June 2014 and January 2015, 
and despite the recent upturn, declined 45.2 percent over the past 12 months. The increase in March was led 
by a 0.8-percent advance in petroleum prices, which more than offset a 7.5-percent decrease in natural gas 
prices. Both the price indexes for petroleum and natural gas fell for the year ended in March, declining 45.1 
percent and 59.1 percent, respectively.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports continued to trend down in March, 
decreasing 0.4 percent following a 0.3-percent drop the previous month. Nonfuel import prices have not 
recorded a monthly increase since the index rose 0.1 percent in July 2014. In March, lower prices for 
nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, and beverages; and each of the major finished goods 
categories contributed to the overall decline in nonfuel import prices. Prices for nonfuel imports fell 1.9 
percent over the past 12 months, the largest year-over-year decrease since the index declined 3.1 percent 
between October 2008 and October 2009.

Table A. Percent change in Import and Export Price Indexes, selected categories

Month IMPORTS EXPORTS
All
imports
Fuel
imports
Nonfuel
imports
All
exports
Agri-
cultural
exports
Non-
agricultural
exports

2014

March

0.5 1.0 0.3 0.9 2.8 0.7

April

-0.6 -2.6 0.0 -1.0 1.5 -1.2

May

0.3 1.2 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.0

June

0.3 1.6 -0.1 -0.5 -1.9 -0.3

July

-0.3 -1.5 0.1 0.1 -1.8 0.2

August

-0.8 -3.8 0.0 -0.5 -3.1 -0.2

September

-0.8 -3.6 -0.2 -0.4 -1.6 -0.2

October

-1.4 -6.8 -0.1 -0.9 -2.2 -0.7

November

-1.8 -9.3 -0.3 -0.9 0.1 -1.0

December

-2.5 (r)-15.0 -0.1 -0.9 -0.7 -1.0

2015

January

(r)-3.2 (r)-20.1 (r)-0.7 (r)-1.8 (r)-1.3 (r)-1.9

February

(r)0.2 (r)3.9 -0.3 (r)-0.2 (r)-2.1 (r)0.1

March

-0.3 0.4 -0.4 0.1 -1.7 0.2

Mar. 2013 to 2014

-0.5 1.0 -0.7 0.4 -1.4 0.5

Mar. 2014 to 2015

-10.5 -45.2 -1.9 -6.7 -13.5 -5.9

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: The price index for U.S. exports ticked up 0.1 percent in March, after declining 0.2 percent the 
previous month. The March upturn in overall export prices was driven by higher nonagricultural prices, and 
was the first 1-month advance since the index rose 0.1 percent in July 2014. The last time overall export 
prices advanced more than 0.1 percent was a 0.9 percent increase in March 2014. Despite the March 2015 
advance, U.S. export prices fell 6.7 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month drop since the index 
declined 8.3 percent for the year ended July 2009.

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports decreased 1.7 percent in March following a 2.1-
percent drop in February. The March decline was led by a 5.9-percent decrease in meat prices, a 5.0-percent 
drop in fruit prices, and a 2.2-percent decline in nut prices. Export agricultural prices fell 13.5 percent over 
the past 12 months, the largest year-over-year decrease since the index declined 16.7 percent between 
September 2008 and September 2009.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural prices rose 0.2 percent in March, after ticking up 0.1 
percent the previous month. The March increase matched a 0.2-percent rise in July 2014, and those were the 
largest 1-month advances since the index rose 0.7 percent in March 2014. The March 2015 increase was 
driven by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials. Despite the recent advances, 
the price index for overall nonagricultural prices declined 5.9 percent for the year ended in March. 


                                      SELECTED MARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: The price index for imports from China fell 0.1 percent for the second 
consecutive month in March. Prices for imports from China declined 0.5 percent over the past 12 months. 
Import prices from Japan edged down 0.1 percent in March, after declining 0.2 percent the previous month. 
The price index for imports from Japan has not recorded a monthly advance since the index rose 0.2 percent 
in March 2014, and decreased 2.2 percent over the past year. Import prices from Canada and from Mexico 
also declined in March, decreasing 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Prices for imports from the 
European Union recorded no change in March.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices declined 1.3 
percent in March following a 1.0-percent decrease in February. The March drop was driven by a 3.0 percent 
decline in unfinished metal prices and a 0.7-percent drop in chemical prices.

Finished Goods: Prices for each of the major import finished goods categories recorded decreases in 
March. The price index for consumer goods and automotive vehicles each declined 0.3 percent. Consumer 
goods prices had increased 0.3 percent in February, while in contrast, prices for automotive vehicles fell 0.3 
percent in February. In March, capital goods prices edged down 0.1 percent following 0.3-percent declines 
in each of the previous 2 months.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices decreased 1.1 percent in March, after 
recording no change in February. The March decline was led by a 6.5-percent decrease in meat prices. 
Lower prices for coffee; fish and shellfish; and feed and grain also contributed to the overall drop.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares fell 2.4 percent in March following a 2.5-percent drop 
the previous month. The March decline was led by lower European fares, while the drop in February was 
driven by lower Asian fares. Despite the recent declines, import air passenger fares rose 0.5 percent over the 
past year. The price index for import air freight increased 3.5 percent in March, the largest 1-month advance 
since the index rose 5.8 percent in May 2011. Despite the March increase, import air freight prices fell 1.6 
percent over the past 12 months.

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials increased 0.7 percent in March, after advancing 0.2 percent the previous month. Both increases 
were driven by higher fuel prices which rose 4.9 percent in March and 3.7 percent in February.

Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices were mostly unchanged in March. Automotive vehicles 
prices ticked up 0.1 percent following a 0.2-percent decline in February. The price indexes for capital goods 
and consumer goods each recorded no change in March. Prices for capital goods had risen 0.2 percent the 
previous month, while consumer goods prices fell 0.5 percent.

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares advanced 1.6 percent in March following a 13.3-
percent decline the previous month. The March increase was led by a 3.1-percent rise in Latin 
American/Caribbean fares. Overall export air passenger fares fell 6.7 percent over the past year. Export air 
freight prices decreased 1.7 percent in March, after a 1.8-percent drop in February. Despite those declines, 
prices for export air freight rose 4.1 percent over the past year.

Import and Export Price Index data for April 2015 are scheduled for release on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 
8:30 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: April 10, 2015
Recommend this page using: