Market news

13 August 2021

U.S. import-price index rises less than forecast in August

The Labor Department reported on Friday the import-price index, measuring the cost of goods ranging from Canadian oil to Chinese electronics, rose 0.3 percent m-o-m in July, following a revised 1.1 percent m-o-m gain in June (originally a 1.0 percent m-o-m advance). This was the smallest monthly advance since November 2020. Economists had expected prices to increase 0.6 percent m-o-m last month.

According to the report, the July gain was driven by higher fuel prices (+2.9 percent m-o-m), while prices for nonfuel imports were flat.

Over the 12-month period ended in July, import prices jumped 10.2 percent, with higher fuel (+66.5 percent) and nonfuel (+6.3 percent) prices contributing to the surge.

Meanwhile, the price index for U.S. exports rose 1.3 percent m-o-m in July, following an unrevised 1.2 percent m-o-m increase in the previous month. U.S. export prices have not recorded a monthly decrease since April 2020. Economists had forecast export prices to move up 0.8 percent m-o-m in June.

The July gain was driven by higher nonagricultural export prices (+1.6 percent m-o-m) that more than offset lower agricultural export prices (-1.7 percent m-o-m; the first monthly drop since August 2020).

Over the past 12 months, the price index for exports surged 17.2 percent, reflecting climbs in prices of both agricultural exports (+29.2 percent) and nonagricultural exports (+15.8 percent).

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