2018 Economic Calendar
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Import and Export Prices  
Released On 6/14/2018 8:30:00 AM For May, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Import Prices - M/M change0.3 %0.6 %0.5 %0.4 % to 0.9 %0.6 %
Export Prices - M/M change0.6 %0.6 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.6 %0.6 %
Import Prices - Y/Y change3.3 %3.6 %4.3 %
Export Prices - Y/Y change3.8 %3.7 %4.9 %

Import and export prices are both beginning to move higher, up 0.6 percent for each in both May and April. Year-on-year rates are rising notably, suddenly above 4 percent at 4.3 percent for imports and 4.9 percent for exports. These are the hottest yearly readings since the easy comparisons early in the expansion, in 2011.

Oil is the major factor on the import side with crude up 6.7 percent in the month and helping to feed a 2.5 percent rise in industrial supplies. But durables are also higher, up 1.4 percent and getting a boost from imported iron and steel where tariffs are in effect and which rose 1.5 percent in May following 3.7 and 2.6 percent gains in April and March. Aluminum import prices, also the subject of tariffs, jumped 5.1 percent in May following mixed results in the prior two months.

On the export side agricultural prices are a big factor in May, up 1.6 percent in the month. Export prices for industrial supplies, again affected by oil, also rose 1.6 percent following April's 1.3 percent gain.

What's not showing any pressure, and what is a reminder of the soft results in Tuesday's consumer price report, are prices for finished goods, whether imports or exports. Monthly change across these readings shows either marginal gains or marginal declines with year-on-year gains averaging only 1.0 percent.

By country, import prices with Canada are going up the most, 1.9 percent higher in May for a year-on-year 8.1 percent. Import prices from Europe rose 0.4 percent in the month with this year-on-year gain at 4.3 percent. These are offset, however, by very weak prices from China, up 0.1 percent in the month for a yearly gain of only 0.3 percent, and Japan, also up only 0.1 percent with this yearly rate at 0.2 percent.

Today's report is a memorable one for this series. Price data below the consumer level are showing sudden acceleration in what underscores yesterday's FOMC rate hike and increased forecasts for rate hikes to come.

Consensus Outlook
Import price pressures are expected to warm up in May following what was a surprisingly contained showing in April. High oil prices along with metal tariffs are the risk for import prices which forecasters see rising 0.5 percent in May following April's 0.3 percent gain. Export prices for May are seen up a moderate 0.3 percent.

Import price indexes are compiled for the prices of goods that are bought in the United States but produced abroad and export price indexes are compiled for the prices of goods sold abroad but produced domestically. These prices indicate inflationary trends in internationally traded products.  Why Investors Care
Yearly changes in import and export prices reveal long term price trends for tradable goods, whether inflationary, disinflationary, or deflationary.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

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