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U.S. Import Prices Unexpectedly Increase Amid Rebound In Fuel Prices

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Import prices in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a modest increase in the month of July, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.2 percent in July after plunging by a revised 1.1 percent in June.

Economists had expected import prices to come in unchanged compared to the 0.9 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected increase in import prices came as prices for fuel imports surged up by 1.8 percent in July after plummeting by 7.3 percent in June.

Meanwhile, the report said prices for non-fuel imports edged down by 0.1 percent in July after slipping by 0.3 percent in June.

Lower prices for automotive vehicles, foods, feeds, and beverages, and capital goods more than offset higher prices for consumer goods and non-fuel industrial supplies and materials.

The report also showed an unexpected uptick in export prices, which crept up by 0.2 percent in July after falling by a revised 0.6 percent in June.

Export prices had also been expected to come in unchanged compared to the 0.7 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for agricultural exports rose by 0.4 percent in July after spiking by 2.5 percent in June, reflecting higher prices for soybeans, other animal feeds, nuts, and vegetables.

The Labor Department said prices for non-agricultural exports also edged up by 0.2 percent in July after jumping by 1.0 percent in June.

The increase was primarily led by higher non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials prices, although rising consumer goods prices also contributed to the advance.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in July were down by 1.8 percent, as non-fuel import prices plunged by 5.5 percent and non-fuel import prices slumped by 1.3 percent.

The report said export prices in July were down by 0.9 percent year-over-year, with prices for agricultural exports plummeting by 3.7 percent and prices for non-agricultural exports tumbling by 1.5 percent.

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