It was the highest one-month gain since a 2.6 percent jump in April 2011.
The increase was pushed by a 3.8 percent increase in prices for fuel, the first advance in fuel prices since November, the department said.
Prices for petroleum products rose 4.3 percent, which "more than offset a 14.2 percent drop in natural gas prices," the department said.
Import prices excluding fuel rose 0.5 percent, the largest one-month gain since April 2011, when non-fuel prices rose 0.8 percent.
Export prices also rose in the month, climbing 0.8 percent. Export prices for agricultural goods made the sharpest gains, rising 2.7 percent. Non-agricultural export prices rose 0.5 percent.