For the third consecutive month, rising costs of petroleum led the increase in the U.S. import price index in August. Prices for the goods the U.S. imports rose 1.3% last month as prices for imported petroleum increased 7.1%, the third highest monthly increase so far this year, the U.S. Labor Department reported on September 9. Only March, with a 13.4% jump and June with an 8.6% increase have been higher.
On the export side of the trade ledger, prices of U.S. goods going abroad fell one-tenth of a percentage point, as prices for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports declined.
Worth noting: Hurricane Katrina hit Florida and the Gulf Coast after the Labor Department's survey of import and export prices for August had been completed.