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U.S. Import Prices Unexpectedly Edge Down 0.1% In October

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Partly reflecting a continued decrease in prices for fuel imports, the Labor Department released a report on Tuesday showing U.S. import prices unexpectedly edged lower in the month of October.

The Labor Department said import prices slipped by 0.1 percent in October after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent in September.

Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected drop in import prices came as prices for fuel imports tumbled by 1.9 percent in October after plunging by 5.2 percent in September. The continued decline reflected lower prices for both natural gas and petroleum.

Prices for non-fuel imports inched up by 0.1 percent in October after rising by 0.5 percent in September, as higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages more than offset falling prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices crept up by 0.2 percent in October after climbing by 0.6 percent in September. Export prices were expected to rise by 0.3 percent.

The uptick in export prices came as prices for agricultural exports spiked by 3.4 percent in October after jumping by 2.8 percent in September. The sharp increase reflected higher prices for vegetables, corn, soybeans, and dairy products.

Prices for non-agricultural exports were unchanged in October after rising by 0.3 percent in September, as lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials and capital goods offset an increase in automotive vehicles prices.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in October were down by 1.0 percent and export prices were down by 1.6 percent.

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