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US import, export prices edge up in January

U.S. import prices rose 1.0% in January after an upwardly revised 0.2% increase in the prior month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Overall import prices climbed by 3.6% from January 2017 to January 2018.

The monthly increase was led by a 4.7% rise in fuel import prices during January, with contributions from petroleum and natural gas prices. On a yearly basis, fuel import prices were up by 19.7% in January.

Non-fuel import prices registered a gain of 0.4% in January, the largest monthly increase since March 2012, after dipping 0.1% in December 2017. Year on year, non-fuel imports rose 1.9% from January 2017.

Meanwhile, export prices also edged up 0.8% during the month, as compared to a revised 0.1% increase of December 2017. The price index for exports was 3.4% higher year on year in January.

The dip in agricultural export prices narrowed to 0.1% during January from a revised 0.3% decline of the prior month. However, the index was up by 1.4% on a yearly basis in January.

Non-agricultural export prices gained 0.9% during the month, and the 3.7% yearly increase was the largest since the 4.0% rise for year ending in December 2011.