U.S. Import Prices Show Another Steep Drop In September

The Labor Department released a report on Friday showing another steep drop in U.S. import prices in the month of September.

The report showed import prices plunged by 1.2 percent in September after tumbling by a revised 1.1 percent in August.

Economists had expected import prices to dive by 1.1 percent compared to the 1.0 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for fuel imports continued to lead the way lower, plummeting by 7.5 percent for the second consecutive month.

Meanwhile, prices for non-fuel prices fell by 0.4 percent in September after edging down by 0.2 percent in August, as lower prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials more than offset higher prices for foods, feeds, and beverages.

The report also showed the annual rate of import price growth slowed dramatically to 6.0 percent in September from 7.8 percent in August.

The year-over-year growth in September reflected the smallest 12-month advance since import prices rose 3.0 percent for the year ended February 2021.

“After the discouraging signs offered by this week’s PPI and CPI reports, today’s import prices have shown some slowing of inflation pressures in the economy,” said Matthew Martin, U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, “However, given the acceleration of core CPI prices, the Fed will remain resolved to increase rates by at least 125bps before year end.”

The Labor Department also said export prices fell by 0.8 percent in September after plunging by a revised 1.7 percent in August. Export prices were expected to slump by 1.0 percent.

Prices for agricultural exports slid by 1.0 percent in September after falling by 0.5 percent in August, while prices for non-agricultural exports declined by 0.9 percent in September after tumbling by 1.8 percent in August.

Compared to the same month a year ago, export prices were up by 9.5 percent in September, reflecting a slowdown from the 10.8 percent jump in August.

The annual rate of growth in export prices represented the smallest 12-month advance since a 5.4 percent increase in February 2021.

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