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Import prices down, export prices up in April


Import prices in April recorded their largest drop in 10 months, as energy costs tumbled, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Reuters reported.

Overall import prices fell 0.5 percent, the Labor Department said. March’s data was revised to show a 1.5 percent increase rather than the previously reported 1.3 percent gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected prices to fall 0.2 percent last month. In the 12 months ended April 30, import prices increased 0.5 percent, the weakest reading since October 2009.

Stripping out petroleum, import prices were flat
,as weak capital goods costs offset the largest increase in automobiles prices in 10 months, indicating that broader inflation pressures remained benign, Reuters said.

Imported petroleum prices fell 1.8 percent in April, the largest drop since August, after rising 4.9 percent in March.

Imported food prices ticked up 0.1 percent after increasing 1.8 percent the prior month.

The report also showed export prices rose 0.4 percent last month, above analysts’ expectations for a 0.2 percent gain. Export prices increased 0.8 percent in March.

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