The price index for U.S. imports increased 0.2 percent in September, after decreasing 0.2 percent in August and unchanged in July. Higher prices for petroleum drove the September increase, more than offsetting lower natural gas prices.
The price index for import petroleum advanced 2.3 percent in September, after declining 2.3 percent the previous month. In September, natural gas prices fell 3.7 percent, resuming a downward trend after the rise in August.
Fuel prices decreased 5.1 percent over the past year. Prices for import petroleum fell 5.8 percent from September 2018 to September 2019. Natural gas prices declined 10.4 percent over the same period.
Prices for nonfuel imports edged down 0.1 percent in September following two consecutive months unchanged.
The price index for nonfuel imports declined 1.1 percent over the past 12 months, led by price decreases for capital goods and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.
The price index for U.S. imports has not recorded an increase larger than 0.2 percent since the index rose 0.6 percent in March. U.S. import prices declined 1.6 percent from September 2018 to September 2019.
Meanwhile, the price index for U.S. exports declined 0.2 percent in September following a 0.6-percent drop in August and a 0.2-percent advance in July. Price declines for agricultural and nonagricultural exports each contributed to the September decrease.
Agricultural export prices declined 1.8 percent in September, after falling 2.3 percent in August, while prices for nonagricultural exports edged down 0.1 percent in September following a 0.3-percent drop the previous month.
U.S. export prices fell 1.6 percent from September 2018 to September 2019. The decline was driven by price decreases for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports.