Import prices continue steady decline
The Labor Department's Import Price Index (IPI) declined 0.1% between August and September, leaving average import prices this September 6.5% below their level of the same month in 1997.
The Labor Department's Import Price Index (IPI) declined 0.1% between August and September, leaving average import prices this September 6.5% below their level of the same month in 1997. This drop was the 11th consecutive monthly decrease recorded in the IPI.
A strong U.S. dollar and flagging global demand for many categories of consumer and industrial goods have pushed import prices steadily lower and led to a surge in imports to the U.S. this year. Petroleum import prices have plunged 32.2% during the past 12 mo, although average prices for imported petroleum moved up slightly in both August and September. Nonpetroleum import prices have shown less volatility than petroleum prices this year, and haven't recorded a monthly increase since the first half of 1997. Imports, excluding petroleum, were an average of 4.2% less expensive this September than during September 1997.
Products imported from Japan averaged 5.7% less expensive this September than a year ago. European imports fell just 0.4% since September 1997.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey