U.S. import prices increased 0.7 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today,
after advancing 0.6 percent in August. The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.8 percent in September, after
increasing 0.7 percent the previous month.
Hurricane Harvey and Irma: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a small impact on the collection of the
import and export price index data for September, but no change in the estimation procedures. For more
information on the impact, please see https://www.bls.gov/bls/hurricanes-harvey-irma-maria.htm.
All Imports: Import prices rose 0.7 percent in September, the largest monthly rise since an increase of 0.7
percent in June 2016. The last time import prices advanced by more than 0.7 percent was a 1.2-percent
increase in May 2016. Higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the overall rise in
import prices for September. Prices for U.S. imports also increased on a 12-month basis, advancing 2.7
Fuel Imports: Fuel prices increased 3.9 percent in September, after rising 4.4 percent in August. The
monthly movements were the first advances since the index rose 0.3 percent in February, and the August
rise was the largest advance since the index increased 6.1 percent in January. Prior to August, prices for
import fuel fell 8.2 percent between February and July. The September advance was driven by a 4.5-percent
rise in petroleum prices which more than offset a 7.8-percent drop in natural gas prices. Between September
2016 and September 2017 the price index for import fuel increased 18.2 percent, led by a 20.1-percent
advance in petroleum prices over the same period. Prices for natural gas declined 16.3 percent for the year
ended in September.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports advanced 0.3 percent in September,
following an identical increase in August. The major end-use categories largely increased in September and
contributed to the rise in overall import prices. The most significant contributor was a 1.4-percent advance
in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices, although rising prices for foods, feeds, and beverages,
capital goods, and automotive vehicles also contributed to the September advance in nonfuel prices. Prices
for nonfuel imports increased 1.3 percent for the year ended in September.
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