U.S. Import Prices Jump More Than Expected Amid Surge In Fuel Prices

A report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed U.S. import prices jumped by more than expected in the month of October.

The Labor Department said import prices shot up by 1.2 percent in October after rising by 0.4 percent in September. Economists had expected import prices to increase by 1.0 percent.

The stronger than expected import price growth came as prices for fuel imports skyrocketed by 8.6 percent in October after spiking by 3.9 percent in September.

Excluding prices for fuel imports, import prices rose by 0.4 percent in October after inching up by 0.1 percent in September.

Higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, automotive vehicles, foods, feeds, and beverages, and consumer goods contributed to the increase in non-fuel import prices.

The Labor Department said export prices also surged up by 1.5 percent in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in September.

Export prices were expected to advance by 0.9 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Prices for agricultural exports jumped by 1.0 percent in October after tumbling by 1.5 percent in September, with the rebound reflecting higher prices for wheat, other animal feeds, cotton, meat, and dairy products.

The report showed prices for non-agricultural exports also shot up by 1.5 percent in October after rising by 0.6 percent in September.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in October were up by 10.7 percent, while export prices were up by 18.0 percent.

“In the near term, import price inflation is poised to remain uncomfortably high given unyielding supply disruptions, elevated energy prices, and warming domestic demand in Q4,” said Mahir Rasheed, U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, “However, we expect price dynamics to ease in early 2022 as demand pressures cool and supply factors gradually improve.”

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