Year-over-year import price inflation marginally grew, whilst export prices marginally declined.
Analyst Opinion of the Import / Export Price Situation
Because of backward revisions – the import and export price indices 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 %.
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 Imports: The price index for U.S. imports rose 0.4 percent in February, the seventh consecutive monthly increase, after advancing 0.8 percent in January. The last time the index declined on a monthly basis was a 0.2-percent drop in July 2017. Import prices advanced 3.5 percent for the 12-month period ended in February, matching the 12-month rise in November. Those were the largest annual increases since the index rose 3.6 percent for the 12-month period ended April 2017.
All Exports: U.S. export prices increased 0.2 percent in February after rising 0.8 percent in January. The last time the index declined on a monthly basis was a 0.1-percent decrease in June 2017. In February, higher prices for both nonagricultural and agricultural exports contributed to the increase in overall export prices. The price index for U.S. exports increased 3.3 percent over the past 12 months.