Import Prices Tumble for Second Month in Row as Crude Slips

U.S. import prices fell for a second straight month in June amid further declines in the cost of petroleum products, suggesting inflation pressures could remain benign for a while.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that import prices decreased 0.2 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent decline in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices slipping 0.2 percent in June after a previously reported 0.3 percent drop in May.

In the 12 months through June, import prices increased 1.5 percent. That was the smallest gain since last November and followed May’s 2.3 percent increase. 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.

The report came on the heels of data last week showing consumer prices were unchanged in June and the annual CPI rate increasing 1.6 percent – the smallest

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