U.S. import prices declined 1.5 percent in November, after falling 1.2 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. Both decreases were driven by declining fuel prices. The price index for U.S. exports fell 1.0 percent in November following a 0.9-percent drop the previous month.
All Imports: Prices for U.S. imports fell 1.5 percent in November, the largest monthly drop in import prices since a 2.3-percent decrease in June 2012. Led by lower fuel prices, overall import prices declined in each of the past 5 months, falling 4.2 percent over that period. The price index for imports fell 2.3 percent over the past 12 months, the largest year-over-year decline since a 2.7-percent decrease between April 2012 and April 2013.
Fuel Imports: Fuel prices decreased 6.7 percent in November, after declining 6.0 percent in October. Those drops were the largest monthly decreases since the index fell 8.5 percent in June 2012. Both monthly declines were driven by lower petroleum prices, which fell 6.9 percent in November and 6.4 percent in October. In November, a 4.6-percent decrease in natural gas prices also contributed to the overall drop in fuel prices, and followed a 0.4-percent advance the previous month. Fuel prices fell 11.5 percent for the year ended November, the largest 12-month drop since the index fell 13.4 percent in July 2012. The November 2014 decrease was led by a 12.3-percent drop in petroleum prices, which more than offset a 10.6-percent increase in natural gas prices over the same period.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports decreased 0.2 percent for the third consecutive month in November. Prior to the last 3 months, the last time the index fell by more than 0.2 percent was a 0.4-percent decline in July 2013. 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. Nonfuel import prices were unchanged over the past 12 months as higher prices for consumer goods and foods, feeds, and beverages offset falling prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials, automotive vehicles, and capital goods.
All Exports: Export prices fell 1.0 percent in November, the largest monthly decline since a 1.0-percent drop in April. Those were the largest 1-month decreases since the index fell 1.7 percent in June 2012. In November, lower prices for nonagricultural exports more than offset higher agricultural prices. The price index for overall exports fell 1.9 percent for the November 2013-14 period, the largest 12-month drop since a 2.2-percent decline in October 2013.
All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports decreased 1.2 percent in November, after falling 0.8 percent in October. Falling prices for both nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and finished goods contributed to the overall decline. Nonagricultural exports decreased 1.7 percent between November 2013 and November 2014, as lower prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods more than offset higher prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles.
Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials decreased 0.9 percent following a 0.7-percent decline in October. Both drops were driven by falling metals prices. Unfinished metals prices decreased 2.1 percent in November, after falling 3.6 percent the previous month. Lower prices for gold and other precious metals led the declines in each month.
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials decreased 3.2 percent in November following a 1.9-percent drop the previous month. The November decline was driven by a 7.9-percent fall in fuel prices, although lower prices for nonferrous metals and chemicals also factored into the overall decrease.