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Import prices rose 0.7 percent in August after posting declines for four consecutive months. Rising petroleum prices—up 4.1 percent from the month prior—drove the increase in the overall index and were partially offset by falling nonpetroleum prices which were down 0.2 percent. After posting declines for four consecutive months, August marks the first increase in petroleum prices which averages losses of 5.0 percent in the second quarter. On a yearly basis, petroleum prices are down 6.4 percent in August, marking four month of declines. Nonpetroleum prices and the overall import price index fell as well on a yearly basis by 0.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. August marks the third and fourth months of consecutive decreases for nonpetroleum prices and the overall index. Despite an increase in import prices from July to August, weakness in sub-categories and year-over-year growth rates indicates that foreign prices have the potential to exert downward pressure on domestic prices in the coming months. Lower import prices could also contribute to lower import levels as well.
Export prices increased 0.9 percent in August after posting gains of 0.4 percent in July. Nonagricultural prices increased 0.4 percent, the first monthly gain since April of this year. Agricultural prices jumped 5.1 percent in August after climbing 6.3 percent in July. On a year-over-year basis, export prices fell 0.9 percent, posting losses for the fourth consecutive month.