The U.S. Import Price Index rose 0.7 per cent in March, the U.S. Bureau of labour Statistics reported today.
The increase was attributable to higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports and followed a 0.2 per cent
decline in February. Export prices also rose 0.7 per cent in March after declining 0.4 per cent the previous
All Imports: In March, import prices increased for the seventh time in the past eight months, rising 0.7
per cent. The March upturn followed a 0.2 per cent decline in February and was largely driven by a
turnaround in fuel prices, which accounted for approximately 80 per cent of the increase. Import prices
advanced 11.4 per cent for the year ended in March after decreasing 14.9 per cent for the March 2008-09
Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices resumed an upward trend in March, rising 2.9 per cent following a 1.2
per cent drop in February. A 4.0 per cent increase in petroleum prices was slightly offset by a 12.4 per cent
decline in natural gas prices, which decreased for the first time in six months. Over the past year, the price
index for petroleum increased 70.2 per cent and natural gas prices rose 19.0 per cent, driving overall fuel
prices up 63.3 per cent for the same period. The 12-month increase in fuel prices followed a 50.7 per cent
drop for the March 2008-09 period.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports rose for the eighth consecutive month, advancing
0.2 per cent. The increase was led by higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials, consumer
goods, and foods, feeds, and beverages. Lower prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles partly
offset the overall advance. Over the past 12 months, nonfuel import prices rose 2.7 per cent, the largest 12-
month increase since the index went up 4.8 per cent for the October 2007-2008 period.
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