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U.S. Import Prices Jump 1.4% In January Amid Higher Fuel Prices

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The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing U.S. import prices increased by more than expected in the month of January.

The report said import prices surged up by 1.4 percent in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in December.

Economists had expected import prices to jump by 1.0 percent compared to the 0.9 percent advance originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected increase in import prices came as prices for fuel imports spiked by 7.4 percent in January after soaring by 8.1 percent in December.

The report said prices for non-fuel imports climbed by 0.8 percent in January after rising by 0.4 percent in December.

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

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said export prices shot up by 2.5 percent in January after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.3 percent in February.

Export prices were expected to increase by 0.7 percent compared to the 1.1 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for agricultural exports led the way higher, surging up by 6.0 percent in January amid higher prices for soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.

The report said prices for non-agricultural exports also jumped by 2.2 percent, reflecting higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and automotive vehicles.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in January were up by 0.9 percent, while export prices were up by 2.3 percent.

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