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U.S. Import Prices Climb More Than Expected Amid Spike In Fuel Prices

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Reflecting another spike in prices for fuel imports, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing U.S. import prices increased by more than expected in the month of March.

The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.6 percent in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in February.

Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for fuel imports showed another jump, soaring by 6.4 percent in March after skyrocketing by 9.7 percent in February.

Meanwhile, the report said prices for non-fuel imports edged down by 0.2 percent in March after rising by 0.2 percent in the previous month.

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

The report said export prices also increased by 0.7 percent in March, matching the upwardly revised advance in February.

Export prices had been expected to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for agricultural and non-agricultural exports both contributed to the overall advance, climbing by 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

The increase in prices for agricultural exports was led by a 34.9 percent spike in vegetable prices, while prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials drove the increase in prices for non-agricultural exports.

The Labor Department said imports in March were unchanged compared to the same month a year ago, while export prices were up by 0.6 percent year-over-year.

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