Economic News Release

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until					USDL-16-0273
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 12, 2016

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                        U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - JANUARY 2016

In January, prices for U.S. imports decreased 1.1 percent for the second consecutive month, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. In both months, the declines were primarily driven by lower fuel prices. 
U.S. export prices also fell in January, decreasing 0.8 percent. The decline followed a 1.1-percent drop the 
previous month.  


Imports

All Imports: The price index for overall imports fell 1.1 percent in January, the largest monthly decrease 
for the index since a 1.8-percent drop in August 2015. Both fuel and nonfuel prices continued to trend 
down. Import prices fell 6.2 percent over the past year. Despite declining in January, the 12-month drop in 
import prices was the smallest over-the-year decrease since the index fell 5.6 percent between December 
2013 and December 2014.              

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices declined 12.4 percent in January, the largest 1-month drop since a 12.7-
percent decline in August 2015. Import fuel prices have not risen on a monthly basis since a 1.5-percent 
advance in June 2015. The January drop was led by a 13.4-percent decline in petroleum prices, although 
natural gas prices also fell, decreasing 3.2 percent. The price index for import fuel declined 34.5 percent for 
the year ended in January, while over the same period petroleum prices fell 35.3 percent and natural gas 
prices decreased 40.1 percent.        

All Imports Excluding Fuel: In January, prices for nonfuel imports declined 0.2 percent after declining 0.3 
percent in each of the past 6 months. Lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials as well as 
capital goods drove the January drop in nonfuel import prices. In contrast, the price indexes for foods, feeds, 
and beverages; automotive vehicles; and consumer goods all rose in January. Nonfuel import prices 
decreased 2.9 percent over the past 12 months with each of the major import categories factoring into the 
decline.       


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

2015

January

-3.2 -20.1 -0.7 -1.7 -1.4 -1.8

February

-0.4 -1.9 -0.2 -0.2 -2.2 0.2

March

-0.2 1.5 -0.4 0.0 -1.6 0.2

April

-0.2 1.8 -0.3 -0.6 -0.9 -0.7

May

1.1 10.8 0.0 0.5 -1.3 0.6

June

0.1 1.5 -0.2 -0.3 -1.6 -0.1

July

-0.9 -6.1 -0.3 -0.4 1.0 -0.6

August

-1.8 -12.7 -0.3 -1.4 -2.5 -1.3

September

-1.1 -8.4 -0.3 -0.6 -1.4 -0.5

October

(r)-0.3 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 0.1 -0.3

November

(r)-0.6 (r)-4.1 (r)-0.3 -0.7 -0.9 -0.7

December

(r)-1.1 (r)-8.7 -0.3 -1.1 -1.0 (r)-1.1

2016

January

-1.1 -12.4 -0.2 -0.8 -1.1 -0.8

Jan. 2014 to 2015

-8.9 -43.8 -0.9 -5.0 -6.4 -4.9

Jan. 2015 to 2016

-6.2 -34.5 -2.9 -5.7 -12.7 -5.0

Footnotes
(r) Revised



Exports 

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports fell 0.8 percent in January and have not recorded a monthly advance 
since the index rose 0.5 percent in May 2015. In January, declining prices for both agricultural exports and 
nonagricultural exports contributed to the overall drop. The price index for overall exports fell 5.7 percent 
for the year ended in January.                     

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices decreased 1.1 percent in January, after declining 1.0 
percent in December and 0.9 percent in November. Lower nut prices, which fell 7.8 percent in January, 
were the largest contributor to the decline for all 3 months. In January, falling prices for soybeans, meat, 
corn, and wheat also factored into the decrease. Prices for agricultural exports fell 12.7 percent from January 
2015 to January 2016.   

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports declined 0.8 percent in 
January, after a 1.1-percent decrease in December. The January drop was driven by lower nonagricultural 
industrial supplies and materials prices, although lower consumer goods prices and capital goods prices also 
contributed to the overall drop in nonagricultural export prices. In contrast, automotive vehicle prices 
advanced in January. Nonagricultural export prices declined 5.0 percent for the January 2015-16 period, 
following a 4.9-percent decrease over the previous 12-month period.


                                     SELECTED JANUARY HIGHLIGHTS

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China edged down 0.1 percent in January, following 
0.2-percent decreases in each of the previous 2 months. Prices for imports from China have not increased on 
a monthly basis since ticking up 0.1 percent in December 2014. The price index for imports from Japan also 
fell 0.1 percent in January. Import prices from Japan have not recorded a monthly advance since the index 
rose 0.2 percent in March 2014. Prices for imports from Canada declined 2.8 percent in January, led by 
lower fuel prices. Falling fuel prices in January also impacted the price index for imports from the European 
Union and from Mexico, which declined 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.                     

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
fell 1.5 percent in January, after decreasing 1.1 percent the previous month. The January decline was led by 
a 2.2-percent drop in chemical prices and a 1.9-percent decrease in metal prices.     

Finished Goods: The major import finished goods categories were mixed in January. Capital goods prices 
declined 0.2 percent and last recorded a monthly advance when the index increased 0.1 percent in June 
2014. In contrast, prices for automotive vehicles rose 0.2 percent, and consumer goods prices ticked up 0.1 
percent.                

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages advanced 0.6 percent in January, the 
largest monthly rise for the index since a 0.7-percent increase in December 2014. The January advance was 
driven by a 10.9-percent increase in vegetable prices.              

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares declined 1.0 percent in January, following a 0.6-
percent drop the previous month. In January, lower Asian and Latin American/Caribbean fares helped to 
offset an 11.0-percent increase in European fares. Overall import air passenger fares fell 4.3 percent over the 
past 12 months. The price index for import air freight declined 4.6 percent in January, the largest monthly 
drop for the index since a 4.9-percent decrease in December 2008. Import air freight prices fell 7.5 percent 
for the year ended in January.     


Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
prices declined 2.1 percent in January, after a 3.1-percent drop in December. Both decreases were led by 
falling fuel prices.      

Finished Goods: The price indexes for consumer goods and capital goods each fell in January while prices 
for automotive vehicles ticked up 0.1 percent. Consumer goods prices declined 0.4 percent for the second 
consecutive month. Prices for export capital goods edged down 0.1 percent in January and 0.7 percent over 
the past year, the largest 12-month decrease since the index fell 0.7 percent in January 2004. Those were the 
largest over-the-year declines since capital goods prices decreased 1.0 percent in November 2003.                 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares increased 6.2 percent in January, the largest monthly 
advance since the index rose 8.3 percent in December 2014. In January, a 9.0-percent increase in Asian 
fares was the largest contributor to the advance. Despite the January rise, export air passenger fares fell 9.7 
percent over the past year. The price index for export air freight rose 1.7 percent in January and declined 2.5 
percent over the past 12 months.          

Import and Export Price Index data for February 2016 are scheduled for release on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 
8:30 a.m. (EST).    

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Last Modified Date: February 12, 2016
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