U.S. import prices increased by 0.2 percent in July compared to June, while export prices dropped down by 0.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The slight increase in import prices is the first positive increase in pricing since February. Over the past four months, import prices have declined by 1.8 percent. Fuel imports showed the biggest overall increase in July, jumping 2.5 percent after a 0.8-percent decline in June. Import pricing excluding fuel declined by 0.4 percent in July after a 0.3-percent drop in June. The July decrease was attributed to weak numbers for autos, industrial supplies and consumer goods, which offset the price growth of beverages, feeds and capital goods.
Imports from Japan fell by 0.5 percent in July, and Chinese imports inched down by 0.1 percent. Prices from the European Union increased by 0.2 percent, while pricing for imports from Mexico rose by 0.5 percent.
Export pricing was driven down in July due to lower agricultural prices, which declined by 0.3 percent after increases in May and June. Downward pressure on wheat, corn and fruit pushed overall pricing down. Non-agricultural exports stayed flat in July when compared to June. Rising finished goods prices were held back by declining prices for industrial supplies and materials. - Jon Ross