The cost of goods imported into the U.S. increased in September for a second month, reflecting higher fuel charges. The import-price index climbed 0.2 percent for a second month. The gain matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg
survey of 45 economists. Over the past 12 months, the cost of goods from abroad dropped 1 percent (-1.0%), the biggest year-to-year decrease since May.
Companies are having a hard time passing increased costs of imported goods on to their customers as domestic demand struggles to accelerate. With little or no inflation, with employment gains declining, the Federal Reserve has more room to hold off on scaling back $85 billion a month in debt purchases, known as quantitative easing.
Forecasts in the Bloomberg survey of economists ranged from a 0.2 percent decline to a gain of 0.9 percent. The value of imported automobiles was unchanged in September from the prior month, leading to a 1.2 percent decline over the past year that was the biggest in records going back to 1981. Prices for consumer goods excluding autos dropped 0.1
percent in September.
The Housing Price Index unexpectedly dropped to an increase of 0.3% for the month of August. This was well below economists consensus expectations of an 0.8% increase and well below July’s 1.0% increase. MBA Mortgage Applications also decreased more than expected, dropping -0.6% for the week of October 18th.
MBA Mortgage Applications
Import Price Index MoM
Import Price Index YoY
House Price Index MoM
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury