"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Import and Export Prices

Import and Export Prices is exactly what it looks like.  A measure of the change in the prices we receive for exporting goods and services, and and a measure in the change in prices for goods and services we import.  It's a separate report from International Trade (go figure), and it is a one month lagging indicator.
March saw a 0.8% increase in export prices, and a 1.3% increase in import prices.  The Econoday-surveyed analysts are mildly bullish on this one, expecting a 0.2% increase in export prices for April, and a 0.2% decrease in import prices.  But are they right?  Let's go check the Bureau of Labor Statistics and find out.
Looking at the U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes - April 2012 report, it actually turns out they weren't bearish enough.  U.S. import prices declined 0.5% in April, and export prices increased 0.4%.  That's good news for domestic companies, at least[1].
The decline in import costs was led by a 2.1% drop in fuel import prices, which breaks down to a 1.8% decline in imported petroleum prices and a 14.1% decline in imported natural gas prices.    The increase in export costs was driven by a 2.0% increase in agricultural prices, led by a 7.4% increase in soybean prices.
[1]  The ones that don't import everything from overseas to resell in the US markets, that is.

1 comment:

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