U.S. import prices unexpectedly decreased in the month of July, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, although the report also showed an unexpected increase in export prices.
The Labor Department said import prices fell by 0.6 percent after tumbling by 2.4 percent in June. The continued drop surprised economists, who had expected import prices to increase by 0.2 percent.
The decrease in import prices was partly due to a 1.2 percent drop in prices for fuel imports, which followed an 8.8 percent decrease in the previous month.
However, excluding fuel prices, import prices still fell by 0.4 percent in July compared to a 0.3 percent decrease in June.
The drop in non-fuel import prices was largely due to a 1.8 percent decrease in prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials.
At the same time, the report said export prices rose by 0.5 percent in July following a 1.7 percent decrease in the previous month. Economists had expected export prices to edge down by 0.1 percent.
Excluding a 6.4 percent jump in prices for agricultural exports, export prices fell by 0.3 percent in July compared to a 1.5 percent drop in June.
The increase in agricultural export prices was driven by rising prices for soybeans, corn, and wheat.
by RTT Staff Writer
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