Import prices tumble 1.2% on petroleum

Import prices tumble 1.2% on petroleum

A big drop in petroleum prices helped push down U.S. import prices by a bigger-than-expected 1.2 percent in January, a government report on Thursday showed.

The January decline in overall import prices, the biggest since October 2006, was driven by a 7.3 percent drop in petroleum prices, the Labor Department report showed.

Economists polled ahead of the report were expecting import prices to drop 1 percent, after rising 1.1 percent a month earlier on a big hike in petroleum.

Excluding volatile petroleum, import prices were unchanged in January after rising 0.5 percent in December.

U.S. export prices were in line with Wall Street expectations, rising by 0.3 percent in January. It was the third month in a row that export prices rose and they were pushed up by gains in capital goods, which account for 40 percent of all exports.

It was the fifth straight increase in export prices for crucial capital goods, which rose by 0.2 percent. Auto export prices rose by 0.2 percent, the 13th straight monthly rise.

Source: Reuters

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