The high cost of energy continues to drive up the costs of imports and produce a powerful drag on the U.S. economy.
But there are some domestic beneficiaries to this trend.
According to this morning’s import and export index released by the Department of Labor, overseas purchasers paid 16.1 percent more in February for U.S. exports of petroleum and related products than they did one year ago. The price tags for these exports rose 2.3 percent in February alone.
This increase runs counter to the overall 0.2 percent decline recorded for the index during February.
On the other hand, U.S. iron and steel exports continue to decline, with these commodities fetching 6 percent less on the export market than they did one year ago, dropping 0.8 percent in February alone.
On the import side, the overall index rose 0.1 percent in February, led by a 1.7 percent increase in the cost of petroleum and petroleum product imports. But these imports were 5.7 percent cheaper in February than they were one year ago.