Import prices fell 0.5% in January and are down 1.7% over the last 12 months. Excluding fuel, they are down 0.2% over the last 12 months.
Export prices declined 0.6% in January and are down 0.2% over the last 12 months. Excluding agricultural products, export prices are also down 0.2% year-over-year.
[Note: The BLS indicated the partial government shutdown impacted the collection of export price data, as prices for soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, and barley had to be estimated.]
Import fuel prices decreased 3.2% driven primarily by a 44.2% drop in natural gas prices. Import fuel prices are down 22.5% over the past three month, which is the largest three-month drop since February 2016.
Agricultural export prices declined 2.1%, paced by a 34.6% decline in vegetable prices.The key takeaway is that the Import-Export Price Indexes for January tracked in a way that should keep the Federal Reserve tracking on its patient-minded path.