With prices for fuel imports seeing a significant decrease, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected drop in U.S import prices in the month of May.
The report said import prices fell by 0.6 percent in May following a revised 0.7 percent decrease in April. Economists had been expecting import prices to come in unchanged.
The unexpected drop in import prices was largely due to a sharp drop in prices for fuel imports, which tumbled by 1.9 percent in May after plunging by 2.5 percent in April.
The Labor Department noted that a 2.0 percent drop in petroleum prices more than offset a 1.2 percent increase in natural gas prices.
Excluding the drop in prices for fuel imports, import prices fell by a more modest 0.3 percent in May compared to a 0.2 percent dip in the previous month.
The report also showed a 0.5 percent decrease in export prices in May, which followed a 0.7 percent drop in April. Export prices had been expected to edge down by 0.1 percent.
The decrease in export prices came as a 0.7 percent drop in prices for non-agricultural exports more than offset a 1.0 percent increase in prices for agricultural exports.
Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were down by 1.9 percent in May, while export prices fell at an annual rate of 0.9 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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