U.S. import prices down 2.7 pct

July 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- U.S. import prices fell 2.7 percent in June, the largest decline in more than three years, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said lower prices for both fuel and non-fuel imports contributed to the overall decline. U.S. export prices fell 1.7 percent in June after a 0.4 percent drop the previous month.

The price index for U.S. imports decreased 2.6 percent over the past 12 months, the figures showed.

Fuel prices declined 10.1 percent in June after recording a 4.6 percent decrease in May and a

0.8 percent drop in April. The June decline in import fuel prices was the largest one-month drop in the index since a 22.2 percent decrease in December 2008.

A 10.5 percent decline in petroleum prices in June more than offset a 7.4 percent increase in natural gas prices, the first advance for the index since a 3.6 percent rise in November. Fuel prices fell 12.0 percent for the year ended in June, as a 10.7 percent drop in petroleum prices and a 44.7 percent decrease in natural gas prices both contributed to the overall decline.

The price index for non-fuel imports also fell in June, decreasing 0.3 percent following a 0.1 percent drop the previous month. Each of the major end use categories recorded declines in

June. Despite the declines in each of the past two months, non-fuel prices rose 0.6 percent over the past year.

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