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Import prices rose in February

March 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- U.S. import prices rose 1.1 percent in February, about twice the rate of January, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

Import prices rose 0.6 percent in January from December, when import prices dropped 0.6 percent, the department said, revising a previous estimated decrease of 0.5 percent.

The data for February did not line up with expectations. Economists had predicted a 0.5 percent price change month-to-month.

Fuel import prices rose 4.9 percent in February and January's 2.4 percent rise was changed to 2.6 percent. On an annual basis fuel import prices were up 13.4 percent, the department said.

Fuel prices have risen in two of the past four months, but also in five of the past seven months.

Prices for non-fuel imports were flat in February after a gain of 0.2 percent in January.

For exports, prices rose 0.8 percent in February. In a pertinent breakdown, prices for agricultural exports rose 2 percent in the month, while non-agricultural export prices rose 0.6 percent from January to February.

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