import export prices oil commodities consumer goods
Damian Dovarganes/AP
By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON -- Prices for U.S. imports and exports fell in June for the fourth straight month, a sign of cooler economic growth worldwide that could weigh on the American economy and unnerve policymakers.

Export prices fell by 0.1 percent, matching the expectation in a Reuters poll, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

The drop probably reflects weakness in global demand which has been hit by Europe's debt crisis and slowing growth in China.

Import prices slipped 0.2 percent last month, dragged down by another month of declining costs outside of the fuels category. Petroleum prices rose 0.2 percent.

Prices for both imports and exports have fallen every month since March, the longest such streak since 2008 when the world was mired in a financial crisis.

The drop in prices last month for imported cars and other consumer goods could help some U.S. consumers.

However, some economists are worried an environment of weak inflation could raise the specter of deflation. That would be very bad, as deflation entails a spiral of falling prices and wages which is very difficult for central banks to fight.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices to be unchanged last month.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Socially Responsible Investing

Invest in companies with a conscience.

View Course »

Portfolio Basics

What are stocks? Learn how to start investing.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

That is funny when they say deflation would cause falling wages because you would have to ask whose wages should fall. 93% of wage gains since the beginning of the recession have gone to 1% of the population.So if we actually saw lower prices that may be the only way 99% of the population would see any real increase in disposable income.

July 11 2013 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to warren's comment

Wages or stocks have gone up for the evil 1% warren?

July 11 2013 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply