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U.S. Import Prices Fall Less Than Expected In September

US Import Export 100915

Import prices in the U.S. saw a modest decrease in the month of September, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, with a drop in non-fuel prices offsetting a rebound in fuel prices.

The report said import prices edged down by 0.1 percent in September after tumbling by a revised 1.6 percent in August. Economists had expected import prices to fall by 0.4 percent.

The modest drop in import prices came as prices for non-fuel prices fell by 0.3 percent in September following a 0.4 percent decrease in August.

Falling prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, foods, feeds, and beverages, and capital goods more than offset an increase prices for consumer goods.

The Labor Department noted non-fuel import prices have not recorded a monthly advance since inching up by 0.1 percent in July of 2014.

On the other hand, the report said prices for fuel imports jumped by 1.4 percent in September, rebounding after plunging by 11.1 percent in August and 6.4 percent in July.

Petroleum prices rose by 1.1 percent, while natural gas prices surged up by 9.3 percent, reflecting the largest increase since December of 2014.

Despite the monthly increase, the Labor Department said fuel prices were down by 44.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

The report also said export prices dropped by 0.7 percent in September after slumping 1.4 percent in August. The decrease was much steeper than the 0.2 percent drop expected by economists.

Agricultural export prices declined by 1.1 percent in September after tumbling by 2.5 percent in August, with the continued decrease largely due to an 8.3 percent drop in soybean prices.

Prices for non-agricultural exports also fell by 0.6 percent in September following a 1.3 percent drop in the previous month.

The decrease was led by declining prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, consumer goods, and automotive vehicles.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were down by 10.7 percent in September, while export prices were down by 7.4 percent.

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