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U.S. Import Prices Drop 0.3% In May, More Than Expected

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A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a bigger than expected drop in import prices in the month of May, reflecting a steep decline in prices for fuel imports.

The Labor Department said its import price index fell by 0.3 percent in May after rising by 0.2 percent in April. Economists had expected import prices to edge down by 0.1 percent.

The bigger than expected drop in import prices was led by a sharp decline in prices for fuel imports, which plunged by 3.7 percent.

Excluding fuel prices, import prices were unchanged in May following a 0.3 percent increase in the previous month.

Lower prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials offset price increases for foods, feeds, and beverages and automotive vehicles.

The report also said export prices slid by 0.7 percent in May following a 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Prices for agricultural exports tumbled by 1.6 percent, and prices for non-agricultural prices fell by 0.6 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were up by 2.1 percent, while export pries were up by 1.4 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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