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U.S. import prices up 0.5% in October, slightly more than expected

Staff Writer |
Reflecting a substantial increase in fuel prices, the Labor Department released a report showing a slightly bigger than expected increase in U.S. import prices in the month of October.

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The report said import prices rose by 0.5 percent in October after edging up by a revised 0.2 percent in September. Economists had expected prices to increase by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The increase in import prices was driven by higher fuel prices, which surged up by 7.2 percent in October after jumping by 1.5 percent in September.

Petroleum and natural gas prices both contributed to the spike in fuel prices, shooting up by 7.5 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, the Labor Department said non-fuel import prices edged down by 0.1 percent for the second straight month

The continued drop in non-fuel prices reflected falling prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and foods, feeds, and beverages.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices crept up by 0.2 percent in October following a 0.3 percent increase in September. Export prices had been expected to inch up by 0.1 percent.

The uptick in export prices came as prices for agricultural exports rose by 0.4 percent and prices for non-agricultural prices edged up by 0.2 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were down by 0.2 percent in October, while export prices were down by 1.1 percent.

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