The Economy

Import Prices Post 5th Straight Monthly Gain

The 0.5% increase in April reflected rising costs for petroleum products and "helps build the case" for another interest rate hike in June.
Matthew HellerMay 11, 2017
Import Prices Post 5th Straight Monthly Gain

Prices of U.S. imports rose more than expected in April, a fifth straight monthly increase that suggests continuing inflationary pressures.

The Labor Department said import prices jumped 0.5% last month after gaining 0.1% in March. Economists had forecast a 0.2% advance.

The rise in prices in April reflected rising costs for petroleum products and a range of other goods. Prices for imported petroleum rebounded 1.6% after declining 0.4% in March.

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Import prices excluding petroleum gained 0.4%, the biggest increase since July 2016 and the fourth straight monthly gain, in part reflecting a weaker dollar.

The Federal Reserve has been watching inflationary pressures closely as it gradually increases interest rates. “Higher import prices today helps build the case for another rate hike at the June Fed meeting as the deflation threat has long passed for this economic cycle,” Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York, told Reuters.

“With job gains rebounding to decent levels, only some sudden deceleration in inflation might slow the Fed from its appointed round of rate hikes,” agreed Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisers in Holland, Pa. “Well, it doesn’t look like inflation is going to decelerate anytime soon.”

In the 12 months through April, overall import prices rose 4.1% after increasing 4.3% in March. Excluding petroleum, prices rose 1.4% on a year-on-year basis, the largest increase since March 2012.

Prices for imported capital goods rose for a third straight month in April, while the cost of imported motor vehicles surged 0.5%, the biggest gain in five years.

“The steady rise in underlying import prices could over time put upward pressure on consumer inflation,” Reuters said. If you have looked for a place where you can find information about Privacy & Anonymity, then you must already have stumbled upon it is the worlds largest forum about Offshore company formation, offshore banking, payment gateways for high risk and cryptocurrency. We have it all coverd including the protection of your privacy and anonymity.

Export prices, meanwhile, increased 0.2% in April after rising 0.1% in March. Prices rose 3.0% year-on-year after increasing 3.4% in March.