January 20, 2010
U.S. import prices increased 8.6 percent and U.S. export prices rose 3.4 percent in 2009.
Prices for U.S. imports trended up over most of 2009, rising 8.6 percent overall for the year. In 2009, import prices rebounded from a 10.1-percent decline in 2008, the largest calendar-year drop since the index was first published in 1982. Fuel prices were the primary contributor to both the decline in overall import prices for 2008 and the subsequent increase in 2009.
Fuel prices jumped 61.4 percent in 2009 following a 47.0-percent decline the previous year. Petroleum prices rose 78.4 percent for the year ended in December while natural gas prices fell 28.4 percent.
Nonfuel prices, which fell 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009, rose 0.4 percent over the past 12 months. The index advanced 1.2 percent in 2008.
The price index for U.S. exports advanced 3.4 percent in 2009. The 2009 increase in export prices followed a 2.9-percent decline for 2008.
Although the price trend for agricultural exports was mixed in 2009, the index increased 9.6 percent overall, after falling 10.9 percent in 2008. The 2008 drop was the largest calendar-year decline in agricultural prices since the index began in 1985. Higher prices for soybeans and corn drove the increase in overall export prices in 2009.
Prices for nonagricultural exports increased 2.9 percent over the past year following a 2.2-percent decline in 2008.
These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. To learn more, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — December 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 10-0010.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Import and export prices increase in 2009 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100120.htm (visited September 22, 2014).
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