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U.S. Import Prices Fall 0.5% In October Amid Steep Drop In Fuel Prices

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Import prices in the U.S. fell by much more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The Labor Department said import prices slid by 0.5 percent in October after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in September.

Economists had expected import prices to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected decrease in import prices was driven by lower petroleum prices, which plummeted by 3.7 percent. Prices for fuel imports plunged by 2.9 percent in October after jumping by 1.5 percent in September.

Excluding fuel imports, import prices dipped by 0.2 percent in October after edging down by 0.1 percent for two straight months.

Falling prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, foods, feeds, and beverages, consumer goods, and capital goods all contributed to the continued decline.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices edged down by 0.1 percent in October after dipping by 0.2 percent in September. The modest decrease matched economist estimates.

The drop in export prices came as a 0.3 percent decrease in prices for non-agricultural exports more than offset a 1.9 percent jump in prices for agricultural exports.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in October were down by 3.0 percent, while export prices were down by 2.2 percent.

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