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U.S. Import Prices Jump 1.4% In February Amid Continued Surge In Fuel Prices

The Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing import prices in the U.S. increased by slightly less than expected in the month of February.

The report showed import prices jumped by 1.4 percent in February after surging by a downwardly revised 1.9 percent in January.

Economists had expected import prices to shoot up by 1.5 percent compared to the 2.0 percent spike originally reported for the previous month.

Fuel prices continued to lead the advance, soaring by 6.9 percent in February after skyrocketing by 7.7 percent in January. The report said higher prices for petroleum more than offset a decrease in natural gas prices.

The report showed prices for non-fuel imports climbed by 0.8 percent in February after jumping by 1.3 percent in January, reflecting higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and material, foods, feeds, and beverages, capital goods, consumer goods, and automotive vehicles.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were up by 10.9 percent in February, reflecting a modest acceleration from the 10.7 percent spike in January.

Meanwhile, the report showed export prices soared by 3.0 percent in February after leaping by a downwardly revised 2.8 percent.

Export prices were expected to jump by 1.6 percent compared to the 2.9 percent surge originally reported for the previous month.

The sharp increase in export prices came as prices for agricultural exports and non-agricultural exports both spiked by 3.0 percent.

The annual rate of growth in export price accelerated to 16.6 percent in February from 15.1 percent in the previous month.

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