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Import prices gain sharply

April 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- U.S. import prices rose 1.3 percent in March following a revised 0.1 percent downturn in the previous month, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.

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.

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