Import Prices Increase for 5th Month, May Boost Inflation

U.S. import prices increased more than expected in April amid rising costs for petroleum products and a range of other goods, which could help boost domestic inflation.

The Labor Department said on Wednesday that import prices jumped 0.5 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in March. Import prices have now increased for five straight months.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices increasing 0.2 percent in April after a previously reported 0.2 percent drop in March.

In the 12 months through April, import prices rose 4.1 percent, slowing from March’s 4.3 percent increase. Import prices shot up 4.7 percent on a year-on-year basis in February, the biggest gain in five years.

Prices of U.S. Treasuries pared gains after the data. The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies while U.S. stock index futures were mixed.

In April, prices for imported petroleum rebounded 1.6

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