Monday, July 13, 2009

Importing Deflation?

Markets remain volatile, thus while there is concern that a weak dollar will result in commodity prices once again rising, if green shoots continue to shrivel than import prices will likely reverse the recent ascent. Marketwatch reported on Friday:

Prices of imported goods rose 3.2% in June, the largest increase since November 2007 and the fourth consecutive monthly gain, as petroleum prices shot higher, the Labor Department estimated Friday. Analysts polled by MarketWatch had expected the import price index to rise 2.5% in June. Despite the monthly gain, import prices were down a substantial 17.4% in the past year.

In May, the imports index rose a revised 1.4%, compared with a prior estimate of a 1.3% gain. In June, imported petroleum prices increased 20.3%, the largest monthly gain since April 1999 and the fifth consecutive monthly increase. However, the petroleum imports price index is down almost 46% over 12 months.

Since the June 30th date in the above chart, oil has dropped $14 a barrel (~20%), thus expect the recent rise in non-manufactured goods to reverse course in July.

Source: BLS