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Import and Export Prices Drop for Second Straight Month

Import and export prices are down for a second straight month, according to an April Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After dropping a revised 0.2% for March, April import prices fell 0.5%, matching analyst expectations.  March's slump was primarily due to cheaper fuel prices, and April's numbers were only marginally different. Fuel prices fell 1.7%, while non-fuel components decreased 0.2%.

On export prices, analysts proved overly optimistic. Expectations of a slight 0.1% drop were overshadowed by a 0.7% slump, beating out March's revised 0.5% drop. Agricultural exports fed the decline, down 2.2% from significant price cuts in corn, soybean, and nuts. Finished goods tell a similar tale, with break-even or decreased prices for April.

Looking back, import prices have fallen 2.6% in the past 12 months, outpacing exports' 0.9% drop.


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