Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Indices  >  US Dollar Index       

US DOLLAR INDEX

SummaryChartsNews 
News SummaryAll newsMarketScreener Strategies

U.S. Import Prices Climb More Slowly Than Expected

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
05/14/2019 | 12:31pm EDT

By Paul Kiernan

WASHINGTON -- Prices of foreign-made goods imported to the U.S. rose in April at their slowest pace in three months, a sign that a strong dollar may be contributing to low U.S. inflation.

Import prices rose 0.2% in April from the previous month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.6% advance.

The import-price index isn't adjusted for seasonality, making it more volatile on a month-to-month basis than other data. It also doesn't include services such as housing and healthcare, which account for the bulk of Americans' spending. Still, Tuesday's data were the third set of soft inflation numbers to come out in recent days, reinforcing the Federal Reserve's decision to stop raising short-term interest rates because inflation is muted.

The Labor Department said last week its closely watched consumer-price index rose 0.3% from March, while the producer-price index climbed 0.2%. Both increases were 0.1 percentage point below economists' expectations.

"It's just another argument for contained core inflation," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR, Inc.

Import prices were restrained last month by a 0.6% decline in prices non-petroleum goods compared with March. Within this category of goods, the most striking components were capital goods and "non-petroleum industrial supplies and materials," both of which saw the biggest monthly price declines since 2009. Consumer-goods prices fell 0.3% in April from March, while prices for autos and parts slipped 0.1%.

Economists said a strengthening dollar likely pushed down import prices last month after they spiked in February and March. The stronger currency means products purchased from other countries cost less.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of foreign currencies, has appreciated 2.3% since late January and is up 4.4% from a year earlier. The import price index was down 0.2% from a year earlier.

Currency changes typically affect the data with a lag, since products from overseas often spend several weeks in transit before passing through U.S. customs, where their prices are measured by the Labor Department.

Import prices don't include any taxes, though tariffs imposed over the past year by the Trump administration could still affect the data in several ways. Higher duties could encourage U.S. firms to buy goods from countries that are more expensive than China, pushing import prices up. On the other hand, U.S. importers or Chinese suppliers may decide to absorb some of the cost of the tariffs, in which case import prices would fall.

Because prices are measured almost entirely in dollars, they also would fall if the trade dispute led to a weakening of the target country's currency. That has appeared to happen in the case of China, the focal point of President Trump's tariffs: The yuan weakened about 6% against the dollar between April 2018 and April 2019, while the price of imported goods from China last month was down 1.1% from a year earlier.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 1.42% 1.11431 Delayed Quote.-3.34%
UNITED STATES DOLLAR (B) / CHINESE YUAN IN HONG KONG (USD/CNH) 0.01% 7.1301 Delayed Quote.3.20%
US DOLLAR / CHINESE YUAN RENMINBI (USD/CNY) 0.02% 7.0927 Delayed Quote.3.02%
US DOLLAR INDEX -0.54% 97.64 End-of-day quote.0.99%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on US DOLLAR INDEX
08/23Stocks tumble, yen rallies as U.S. and China escalate trade war
RE
08/23Stocks tumble, yen rallies as U.S. and China escalate trade war
RE
08/23Stocks tumble, yen rallies as U.S. and China escalate trade war
RE
08/23WALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : Stocks, Bond Yields Fall Sharply on Trade Tensions
DJ
08/23MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Ends More Than 600 Points Lower As U.S.-China Trade War ..
DJ
08/23CURRENCIES : U.S. Dollar Sinks As Trump Tweets Stoke Intervention Fears
DJ
08/23WALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : U.S. Stocks, Bond Yields Fall on Trade Tensions
DJ
08/23WALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : U.S. Stocks, Bond Yields Fall on Trade Tensions
DJ
08/23WALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : U.S. Stocks, Bond Yields Fall on Trade Tensions
DJ
08/23Trump's China trade comments send US stocks tumbling
RE
More news
Chart US DOLLAR INDEX
Duration : Period :
US Dollar Index Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends US DOLLAR INDEX
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralNeutralBullish