44 U.S. import prices fell for the second month in a row in August, but this was weighed down by falling petroleum product prices and a stronger dollar, which could help keep inflation down over time. Reuters reported.
Import prices fell 1.0% last month after he fell 1.5% in July, the Labor Department said Thursday. In the 12 months to August, import prices he rose 7.8%, and in July he rose 8.7%. Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices, excluding tariffs, to fall 1.2% month-on-month.
Weak import prices should further ease concerns about entrenched inflation, following Wednesday’s data that showed producer prices falling for a second monthly drop in August. Earlier this week, the government reported an unexpected rise in consumer prices in August, cementing hopes for the Federal Reserve’s third rate hike of 75 basis points next Wednesday.
Lower import prices also indicate that bottlenecks in global supply chains have eased.
Imported fuel prices fell 6.8% last month after he fell 7.5% in July. Oil prices fell 7.1% and the cost of imported food fell 1.6%.
Excluding fuel and food, import prices fell by 0.1%. These so-called core import prices fell by 0.5% in July. August increased by 3.8% year-on-year. A stronger dollar is helping to contain the rise in core import prices.
The dollar has risen 7.5% against the currencies of the US’s main trading partners since January.
The report also showed that export prices fell 1.6% in August after he fell 3.7% in July. Agricultural export prices fell 0.4% as lower prices for corn, fruit, meat and wheat offset higher prices for soybeans and vegetables. Export prices of non-agricultural products fell by 1.8%.
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