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U.S. Import Prices Rise on Higher Fuel Prices

U.S. import prices advanced 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports,…

  • June 11, 2019

U.S. import prices advanced 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, after increasing 0.6 percent in March.

The April advance was driven by higher fuel prices, which more than offset decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.2 percent in April after a 0.6-percent rise in March.

BLS said the price index for U.S. imports rose 0.2 percent in April, continuing the upward trend that began in January.

The April rise followed a 0.6-percent advance in March and a 1.0-percent increase in February.

Despite the recent monthly advances, import prices declined 0.2 percent for the 12-month period ended in April. The April year-over-year decrease was driven by lower nonfuel prices.

Fuel Imports:

The price index for fuel imports rose 2.5 percent in April, after increasing 6.9 percent in

March and 10.2 percent in February. A 6.1-percent rise in petroleum prices drove the increase in fuel prices.

Natural gas prices declined 53.7 percent in April, the largest decrease since the index was first published on a monthly basis in December 1994.

Fuel prices rose 6.9 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for petroleum increased 7.0 percent for the year ended in April, and prices for natural gas declined 10.5 percent over the same period.

The 12-month decrease in natural gas prices was the largest decline since the index fell 27.3 percent in June 2018.