U.S. import prices were unchanged and export prices fell sharply by 0.5% in July, following a 0.1% decline and 0.2% increase in June, respectively. The decline in export prices for July was driven by a 5.3% decline in agricultural export prices, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Without the price of oil, monthly inflation would be nonexistent.
Prices for all U.S. imports were flat in July, fell 0.1% in June and rose 0.9% in May. For the year ending July, U.S. import prices saw the largest 12-month gain (4.8%) since the index rose 5.1% in February 2012. Import prices have not fallen on an over-the-year basis since the index fell 0.2% in October 2016.
That slightly beat the 4.7% consensus forecast.
U.S. export prices rose 0.7% in May, but the decline in July was the first monthly decrease since June 2017 and the largest since the index fell 0.6% in May 2017. Overall export prices rose 4.3% between July 2017 and July 2018.
That missed the 5.3% consensus forecast, given the lower-than-expected prices for agricultural exports in July. The decline in agricultural exports for July was the largest monthly decline since the index fell 6.5% in October 2011.