U.S. import prices rebounded in November in line with analysts' expectations as fuel price growth hit a 6-month high, latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.
The import price index rose 0.2% month over month in November, following a 0.5% fall recorded in the previous month. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a 0.2% increase in November's import prices.
The monthly increase was led by a 2.6% rise in fuel prices, which marked the largest monthly increase since the index gained 3.6% in May. Natural gas prices surged 48.5% and petroleum prices increased 1.1%.
Excluding fuel products, import prices were down 0.1% in November.
Meanwhile, the export price index edged up 0.2% month over month after a 0.1% drop recorded in October.
Agricultural export prices went up 2.2%, driven by a 3.4% jump in soybeans prices. Meanwhile, prices for non-agricultural exports remained unchanged in November.
On an annual basis, import prices fell 1.3%, marking the smallest year-over-year decline since the index declined 0.9% in May. Export prices also retreated 1.3%, as price drops for nonagricultural exports more than offset an increase in agricultural prices.