Import Prices Spiked in April, Led by Rise in Oil Prices

The U.S. Import Price Index rose 2.1% in April, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The increase was led by the largest rise in petroleum prices in over a year. Export prices advanced 0.6 percent, the fifth consecutive monthly increase for the index.

  • The advance was driven by an 11.5% jump in petroleum prices which followed a comparatively modest 0.5% rise the previous month. The April increase in petroleum prices was the largest for the index since a 13.4% rise in March 2005. Petroleum prices rose 32.5% over the past 12 months.
  • For the year ended in April, nonpetroleum prices increased 0.8% while overall import prices advanced 5.9%.
  • Nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials prices increased 6.1% for the year ended in April.
  • Import prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and for consumer goods declined in April, falling 0.9% and 0.1%, respectively.
  • The import price index for capital goods was unchanged in April and down 1.5% over the past year.
  • Prices for imports from Japan fell 0.2% and from China declined 0.1% in April. 
  • Import air passenger fares rose 5.7% in April, the largest monthly increase for the index since a 10.2% jump in June 2005.

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes:

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