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US import, export prices slip in June
[WASHINGTON] US import prices unexpectedly fell in June as the lingering effects of a strong dollar offset rising costs for petroleum products, keeping imported inflation pressure under wraps.
The Labour Department said on Tuesday import prices dipped 0.1 per cent last month after a downwardly revised 1.2 per cent increase in May.
Import prices have now declined in 11 of the last 12 months. Economists had forecast import prices edging up 0.1 per cent after a previously reported 1.3 per cent jump in May. In the 12 months through June prices fell 10.0 per cent.
Last month, imported petroleum prices rose 0.8 per cent after surging 11.7 per cent in May.
Import prices excluding petroleum slipped 0.2 per cent after being unchanged in May, reflecting dollar strength. The dollar has gained 11.6 per cent against the currencies of the United States' main trading partners since June 2014 on expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.
Last month, imported food prices fell 0.6 per cent after rising 0.2 per cent in May. Prices for imported capital goods were unchanged, while automobiles fell 0.1 per cent.
The report also showed export prices fell 0.2 per cent last month after rising 0.6 per cent in May. Export prices dropped 5.7 per cent in the 12 months through June.