The Import Price Index for August was down 0.5% after a revised up 0.1% in July (previously up 0.2%). Excluding prices for fuels, the index was flat for a second month in a row. Imported fuel prices were down 4.3% in August from July. Compared to a year ago, the index was down 2.0% overall and down 1.0% excluding fuels. Fuel prices were down 8.7% year-over-year in August.
Prices for imported petroleum and products were down 4.3% in August from July and more than off set sharp increases in natural gas of up 16.0% and coal and coal gas of up 13.0%.
Outside of the volatility in energy costs, on net prices for imported goods have little or no upward pressure.
Prices for finished imported goods were little changed in August from July. Capital goods costs were unchanged for a second month. Prices for autos and parts were up a scant 0.1%, as were consumer goods excluding autos. Some of this reflects increases in dollar values relative to the prior month. Year-over-year costs for finished goods are steadily on the decline.
The FOMC will not find any evidence of underlying upward price pressures from imported goods that could impact its forecasts for price stability.
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