Export Prices Drop 0.5% for August; Import Prices Steady

Import prices stayed steady while export prices dropped for August, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After increasing a revised 0.1% in July for the first gain in four months, import prices remained unchanged for August. Analysts had expected a 0.5% gain on top of July's. While fuel import prices added on 0.5%, nonfuel prices fell 0.2% for the sixth straight month of declines. According to the report, falling prices for industrial supplies and materials proved to be the biggest pull on import prices.

Source: Labor Department. 

Export prices have been on the decline since February, and August was no different. Analysts had been hoping for a slight 0.1% gain, but actual numbers show a 0.5% decline. Although agricultural and nonagricultural exports both felt the squeeze, agriculture's 4.3% drop outweighs a slight 0.1% decline for other exports.

Source: Labor Department. 

On a regional basis, import prices from the European Union and Japan both fell 0.1%, while China import prices stayed steady for the third straight month.

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