U.S. Import Prices Decrease For Fifth Straight Month In November

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Import prices in the U.S. declined for the fifth consecutive month in November, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said import prices slid by 0.6 percent in November after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in October.

Economists had expected import prices to decrease by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.2 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

"The larger than expected drop in import prices in November adds to the string of declines in H2 2022 that have erased the bulk of the increases from the first half of the year and portending potential y/y declines in the new year should the trend continue," said Matthew Martin, U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, "The Fed will find yesterday's softer than expected CPI release and today's import prices as encouraging signs that inflation pressures are easing, and puts them in line to increase rates by 50bps at today's FOMC meeting."

The slightly bigger than expected drop in import prices partly reflected a continued slump in prices for fuel imports, which dove by 2.8 percent in November after tumbling by 2.7 percent in October.

At the same time, prices for non-fuel imports also fell by 0.4 percent in November after edging down by 0.1 percent in October.

The Labor Department said lower prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods more than offset higher prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and capital goods.

The annual rate of import prices growth slowed from 4.2 percent in October to 2.7 percent in November, which reflected the slowest year-over-year growth since January 2021.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices fell by 0.3 percent in November following a revised 0.4 percent drop in October.

Export prices were expected to decrease by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.3 percent decline originally reported for the previous month.

The Labor Department said a 0.6 percent decrease in prices for non-agricultural exports more than offset a 2.3 percent jump in prices for agricultural exports.

The annual rate of export price growth slowed from 6.9 percent in October to 6.3 percent in November, which reflected the slowest year-over-year growth since February 2021.

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