The following is the text of the U.S. import and export price index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - NOVEMBER 2011
Following declines in each of the previous three months, U.S. import prices rose 0.7 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today; an upturn in fuel prices more than offset decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Export prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November, after a 2.1 percent drop in October.
All Imports: Import prices rose 0.7 percent in November following declines of 0.5 percent, 0.1 percent, and 0.4 percent the three previous months. The November advance is the largest monthly increase since a 2.6 percent rise in April. Overall import prices increased 9.9 percent for the year ended in November, due primarily to higher prices for the first half of the period.
Fuel Imports: A 3.6 percent rise in import fuel prices drove the November increase in overall import prices. The November increase followed declines in five of the six previous months. Fuel prices rose 31.6 percent over the past 12 months despite declining 7.2 percent between April and October. Both petroleum and natural gas prices, up 3.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, in November contributed to the increase in overall fuel prices. Petroleum prices increased 33.4 percent over the past year, while natural gas prices advanced 5.8 percent for the same period.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports declined 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month, the first monthly decreases since a 0.3 percent drop in July 2010. The November decrease was led by lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials imports as well as for imported foods, feeds, and beverages. In contrast, prices for each of the major finished goods categories edged up in November. Despite the recent declines, nonfuel prices advanced 3.8 percent for the year ended in November, led by an 8.1 percent increase in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices.
All Exports: Export prices advanced 0.1 percent in November after a 2.1 percent drop the previous month. In November, a rise in agricultural prices more than offset falling nonagricultural prices. Overall export prices rose 4.7 percent for the November 2010-11 period, the smallest year-over-year advance since a 4.1 percent increase between August 2009 and August 2010.
Agricultural Exports: Agricultural prices increased 1.5 percent in November after declining 6.5 percent the previous month. An upturn in corn and soybeans prices which rose 9.0 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, primarily drove the November advance. The price index for agricultural exports increased 5.3 percent for the year ended in November.
All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports edged down 0.1 percent in November following a 1.5 percent decrease in October. Falling prices for both nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods contributed to the November decline. Nonagricultural prices increased 4.8 percent over the past year, led by a 10.2 percent advance in the price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials.
SELECTED NOVEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials fell 1.8 percent in November after a 1.4 percent decline the previous month. Both decreases were driven by falling unfinished metals prices which fell 5.0 percent in November and 4.1 percent in October. Despite those recent drops, prices for unfinished metals rose 5.7 percent for the November 2010-11 period.
Finished Goods: Each of the major finished goods categories recorded increases in November. The price indexes for consumer goods and capital goods each ticked up 0.1 percent for the month. Automotive vehicle prices rose 0.2 percent in November driven by a 0.3 percent advance in the price index for parts, engines, bodies, and chassis.
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices edged down 0.1 percent in November, following a 0.7 percent decrease the previous month. The November drop was led in part by falling prices for fish and shellfish.
Imports by Locality of Origin: The price index for imports from China increased 0.3 percent in November after rising 0.4 percent the previous month. Import prices from China advanced 3.9 percent for the year ended in November. Import prices from Canada also rose in November, up 0.3 percent following declines in each of the previous three months. The price indexes for imports from the European Union, Mexico, and Japan all ticked up 0.1 percent in November.
Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares decreased 0.7 percent in November following a 1.9 percent increase the previous month. The November decline was driven by a 3.5 percent drop in European fares which more than offset a 2.5 percent advance in Asian fares. Import air freight prices declined 1.7 percent in November after a 2.3 percent drop the previous month.
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices edged down 0.2 percent in November following a 3.5 percent decline the previous month. Falling prices for gold, steelmaking materials, paper, and plastics all contributed to the November decline. The November decrease for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices was partially mitigated by a 3.5 percent rise in fuel prices.
Finished Goods: Export finished goods prices recorded little movement overall in November. Consumer goods prices fell 0.2 percent, led by a 1.3 percent drop in home entertainment products. The price indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles were each unchanged in November.
Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares fell for the third consecutive month, declining 3.3 percent in November following decreases of 2.5 percent in October and 13.4 percent in September. The November drop was led by a 7.9 percent seasonal decline in European fares. Export air freight prices also decreased in November, falling 0.9 percent.
Import and Export Price Index data for December 2011 are scheduled for release on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).