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.
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.
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.