The U.S. import price index decreased by 0.3% in August, the first decline since October 2020, following an upwardly revised 0.4% increase in July, while the core index, which excludes petroleum, fell by 0.1%, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The monthly decline also contributed to the smallest 12-month increase in import prices at 9.0% since March, mainly driven by lower petroleum prices and industrial supply prices, which were down by 2.4% and 1.7% respectively month-over-month.
While the headline number was below expectations, it did not tell the whole story when broken down by country of origin as prices from Canada accounted for most of the decline—down 3.3% in August.
Prices from other parts of the world, especially from China and Southeast Asia, remained hot, up by 0.39% and 0.30% respectively on the month, continuing to cause concerns over global supply chain disruptions.
This was reflected by the increases in imported capital goods, which inched up by 0.1% led by higher prices for computers, semiconductors and machinery, and in higher prices for imported automobiles, up by 0.3% in August.
Elsewhere in the report, foods, feeds and beverages increased by 0.6% for the second straight month, led by upticks in prices for fruit and coffee.
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