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Import Prices Rebound After Historic Fall

A month after their worst fall in more than five years, import prices have rebounded to their best month in over a year. U.S. imports increased 1% in May, according to a release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Much of the increase is due to the large jump in fuel import prices, which shot up 20.5% in May. That was the largest increase since the index began publication in September 1992. May was also the first month fuel imports increased since December. Despite the substantial uptick in fuel imports, prices are down nearly 50% from May 2019. Nonfuel import prices only increased a tenth of a percent in May.

Meanwhile, exports increased 0.5% in May, and nonagricultural export prices increased 0.6%. Agricultural exports declined 0.5% and are down 3.5% from May 2019, due to lower prices in corn, cotton and nuts.

Imports from China remained the same in May, but exports to China increased 2.7% following declines in March and April. The May increase was the largest one-month jump since the index was first published in December 2017.

Economists predicted import prices would increase by 0.6% in May, states Reuters.

-Michael Miller, managing editor

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Thursday, 09 July 2020