Fueled by higher prices for both petroleum and non-petroleum imports, the U.S. Import Price Index increased nine-tenths of a percentage point in Jan., the U.S. Labor Department reported on Feb. 17. Jan.'s increase follows a 1.4% decline in Dec. 2004.
The price index for petroleum imports rose 4.6% in Jan., in contrast to 16.8% decline during Nov. and Dec. of last year. Prices for non-petroleum imports rose two-tenths of a percentage point in Jan., their third consecutive monthly increase, with higher prices for consumer goods, capital goods and non-petroleum industrial supplies and materials contributing to the increase.
U.S. export prices rose seven-tenths of percent in Jan., with higher prices for both agricultural and non-agricultural goods contributing to the increase. It was the largest monthly rise for export prices since a seven-tenths-percent rise in April 2004. Among the factors in Jan.'s export price rise were identical three-tenths-percent increases in prices for capital goods and autos, their fourth consecutive increases.