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U.S. import prices fall sharply in October on decline in oil prices

U.S. overall import prices dropped sharply in October. On a sequential basis, import prices fell 0.5 percent, driven by a 3.7 percent drop in oil and its related products. Stripping oil, import prices dropped 0.1 percent sequentially and 1.5 percent, as food was soft and inflation was muted throughout core categories such as capital goods, autos, parts and consumer goods. The trend in imported inflation continues to be subdued, and prices throughout major components continue to fall on an annual basis.

Imported inflation has exhibited softness for some time now with other components such as capital and consumer goods, autos and parts. The fall in prices of durable capital goods is likely related to the softness in the global manufacturing cycle, noted Barclays in a research report.

Meanwhile, on the consumer side, the inflation trend softened considerably for large household and recreational goods, but prices appear to have stabilized in recent months.

Imported inflation from China stayed negative, at -0.1 percent sequentially on a seasonally adjusted basis. Prices from Mexico dropped for the third straight month, while import price pressures from Canada softened again after a solid reading in September.

By Aditi Awati
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