By John S. McClenahen The U.S. is not being blindsided by inflation from abroad. In December 2001, for the third consecutive month, the Labor Department's Import Price Index declined. The decrease of 0.9% was led by falling prices for petroleum products. They fell 6.9% in December, bringing their 12-month total decline to 38.5%, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On trade's flip side, prices for U.S. exports fell 0.2% in December, their third monthly decline. Industrial supplies and materials -- especially fuels, lubricants, chemicals, paper, and lumber -- continued to pace the decline in prices of nonagrictultural goods. Their prices dropped 1.2% in December, following declines of 1.3% in November and 1.6% in October.