Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that import prices increased by 0.6 percent over the month of March. This was entirely led by a 6.4 percent increase in fuel prices. However, this is lower than February’s increase, which was nearly 10 percent. It should be noted that fuel prices can be extremely volatile, and dropped by over 12 percent in November and December of last year.
While fuel prices have been increasing this year, nonfuel import prices dipped down by 0.2 percent and have remained relatively stable for several months.
In the meantime, export prices increased in March, by 0.7 percent. This increase was mainly led by agricultural exports, but nonagricultural exports such as industrial supplies increased in price as well. Export prices for finished goods were slightly down over the month.