EU Industrial imports prices on downward trend

May 11, 2023


May 11, 2023

After a dramatic increase in industrial import prices starting in the second half of 2020 and peaking in the Summer of 2022, import prices have been on a steep downward trend for the last seven months. Still, they are much higher than in previous years, remaining at the highest levels ever recorded.

This information comes from data on short-term business statistics published by Eurostat. The article presents a selection of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on industrial import price index overview.

In March 2023 compared with February 2023 industrial import prices of the euro area decreased by 1.0 % following decreases of 1.7 % in February and 1.2 % in January 2023. Import prices are now 2.7 % lower than in March 2022 but still 26.5 % above the level of March 2021.

The dynamic development of the euro area industrial import prices in recent months was mainly influenced by imports from outside the euro area (-4.4 % between March 2023 and March 2022 and +29.6 % between March 2023 and March 2021).

The historical growth in industrial import prices was explained by substantial increases in import prices for energy products, one of the five main industrial groupings analysed in the industrial import prices index.

Import prices for energy products, which constitute around 12 % of the total euro area index, have been much more volatile than other prices. After prices fell in 2019 and 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, import prices for energy products increased to the highest level on record, peaking in August 2022 at 293.5 index points (about three times as high as the long-term average of these prices). Between September 2022 and the most recent collection of data for March 2023, import prices for energy fell in the same dramatic way in which they had risen but remained at high levels (193.2 index points in March 2023).

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