Import Prices Post Biggest Gain in 7 Months

U.S. import prices recorded their biggest increase in seven months in August as the cost of petroleum surged and there were also signs of a pickup in underlying imported inflation.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that import prices jumped 0.6 percent last month, the biggest gain since January, after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent dip in July.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices increasing 0.4 percent in August after a previously reported 0.1 percent gain in July.

In the 12 months through August, import prices surged 2.1 percent after rising 1.2 percent in July. The year-on-year increase in import prices has slowed sharply since posting 4.7 percent in February, which was the biggest advance in five years.

Last month, prices for imported petroleum raced 4.8 percent after slipping 0.4 percent in July. Import prices excluding petroleum rose 0.3 percent after dipping 0.1 percent the prior month. Import

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