December 2018 Import Price Year-Over-Year Inflation Now -1.0%

Year-over-year import prices and export prices again declined significantly more than expected.

Analyst Opinion of the Import / Export Price Situation

Month-over-month price index for fuel imports decreased (and non-fuel imports was unchanged) - and the price index for agricultural exports increased.

Import Oil prices were down 9.2 % month-over-month, and export agricultural prices were up 3.9 %.

  • with import prices down 1.0 % year-over-year;
  • and export prices up 1.1 % year-over-year;
  • the markets were expecting (from Econoday):
  Consensus Range Consensus Actual
Import Prices - M/M change -1.6 % to -0.4 % -0.9 % -0.6 %
Export Prices - M/M change -0.9 % to 0.1 % -0.3 % -0.6 %

There is only a marginal correlation between economic activity, recessions, and export/import prices. Prices can be rising or falling going into a recession or entering a period of expansion. Econintersect follows this data series to adjust economic activity for the effects of inflation where there are clear relationships.

Econintersect follows this series to adjust data for inflation.

Year-over-Year Change - Import Prices (blue line) and Export Prices (red line)


There are three cases of deflation outside of a recession - early 1990′s, late 1990′s, and mid 2000′s. Import price deflation is normally associated with strengthening of the dollar relative to other currencies.

According to the press release:

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