Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Import Prices Over Last 12 Months Climbed at Double Digit Rate

Import prices rose 2.2 percent in April following a 2.6 percent advance in March, the first time import prices increased by more than two percent in consecutive months since June 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price index for overall imports recorded an increase each month since October and rose 11.1 percent over the past year.

While energy prices were the main driver of higher prices (Import fuel prices advanced 6.7 percent in April), increases were reported in many other sectors. Foods, feeds, and beverages prices advanced 1.8 percent in April after a 4.2 percent rise in March. The April increase was driven by a 22.8 percent jump in coffee prices....The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials rose 1.7 percent in April following a 2.0 percent rise the previous month. Both increases were led by higher chemical and unfinished metals prices, which increased 2.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, in April. The rise in chemical prices was driven by a 6.6 percent advance in plastics prices, and the largest contributors to the rise in unfinished metals prices were prices for gold and other precious metals.

 Prices for import fuel rose 34.8 percent for the year ended in April.

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