A 2.3% increase in petroleum prices helped fuel an eight-tenths increase in its U.S. Import Price Index in August, the U.S. Labor Department reported on September 14. The increase was slightly smaller than July's 1% rise.
Also contributing to August's import price increase were higher prices for natural gas and unfinished metals, which more than offset price declines for chemicals and building materials, the department said.
On the export side of the trade ledger, the department's price index increased four-tenths of a percent in August, the same as in July. Higher prices for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports, including industrial supplies and materials, figured in August's export price increase.