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Price indexes for imports from EU & Canada up in Jan
16
Feb '08
The U.S. Import Price Index increased 1.7 percent in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported, led by a 5.5 percent increase in petroleum prices. The overall increase followed a 0.2 percent decline in December. U.S. export prices advanced 1.2 percent in January following a 0.4 percent rise in December.

Import Goods:
The January increase in overall imports resumed the upward trend of the past year after a 0.2 percent decrease in December. The index, which had risen 3.1 percent in November and 1.5 percent in October, is up 13.7 percent over the past 12 months, the largest year-over-year increase since the index was first published in September 1982. The 5.5 percent increase in petroleum prices was the largest contributor to the January increase, although nonpetroleum prices also advanced, rising 0.6 percent.

Petroleum prices also led the overall increase in import prices over the past year, rising 66.9 percent over that period. The increase in nonpetroleum prices in January followed increases of 0.3 percent in December and 0.6 percent in November. Over the past 12 months, prices for nonpetroleum imports rose 3.6 percent.

The January increase in nonpetroleum prices was primarily driven by a 2.2 percent rise in the price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials. That increase followed advances of 0.7 percent in December and 2.3 percent in November and was led by higher prices for chemicals and natural gas.

The price indexes for consumer goods also increased in January. Consumer goods prices advanced 0.3 percent for the month and 1.6 percent over the past year. In contrast, capital goods prices fell 0.2 percent in January as a decline in computer prices more than offset a 0.2 percent increase in prices for capital goods excluding computers.

Export Goods:
The 1.2 percent increase in export prices was the largest one-month gain in the index since a 1.2 percent increase in January 1989. Higher prices for both agricultural exports and nonagricultural exports contributed to the advance. Agricultural prices rose 5.0 percent in January after a 2.8 percent increase in December. Higher prices for corn and soybeans drove the increase in agricultural prices.

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