Oil Prices Again Lead Import Cost Increase

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.

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