Year-over-year import and export price inflation moderately grew.

Analyst Opinion of the Import / Export Price Situation

Because of backward revisions – the year-over-year import and export prices were little changed from where we thought we were last month.

Import Oil prices were down 0.6 % month-over-month, and export agricultural prices were up 0.6 %.

  • with import prices up 3.6 % year-over-year;
  • and export prices up 3.4 % year-over-year..
  • the markets were expecting (from Bloomberg):
  •   Consensus Range Consensus Actual Import Prices – M/M change -0.1 % to 0.5 % +0.4 % +0.0 % Export Prices – M/M change 0.1 % to 0.5 % +0.3 % +0.3 %

    There is only marginal correlation between economic activity, recessions and export / import prices. Prices can be rising or falling going into a recession or entering a period of expansion. Econintersect follows this data series to adjust economic activity for the effects of inflation where there are clear relationships.

    Econintersect follows this series to adjust data for inflation.

    Year-over-Year Change – Import Prices (blue line) and Export Prices (red line)

    There are three cases of deflation outside of a recession – early 1990?s, late 1990?s, and mid 2000?s. Import price deflation is normally associated with strengthening of the dollar relative to other currencies.

    According to the press release:

    All ImportsImport prices recorded no change in March following rises of 0.3 percent in February and 0.8 percent in January. The index has not declined on a monthly basis since decreasing 0.2 percent in July 2017. Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.6 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. The last 12-month decline in import prices was a 0.2-percent drop for the period ended October 2016.

    All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose for the ninth consecutive month in March, advancing 0.3 percent. Increasing prices for agricultural exports drove the monthly advance, more than offsetting lower nonagricultural export prices. U.S. export prices increased 3.4 percent over the 12-month period ended in March and have not recorded an over-the-year drop since a 0.2-percent decline in November 2016.

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