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18.02.2021 21:49

U.S. import-price index rises more than forecast in January

The Labor Department reported on Tuesday the import-price index, measuring the cost of goods ranging from Canadian oil to Chinese electronics, rose 1.4 percent m-o-m in January 2021, following a revised 1.0 percent m-o-m gain in December 2020 (originally a 0.9 percent m-o-m advance). This was the largest monthly advance since March 2012. Economists had expected prices to increase 1.0 percent m-o-m last month.

According to the report, the January gain was driven by higher prices for both fuel (+7.4 percent m-o-m) and nonfuel (+0.8 percent m-o-m) imports.

Over the 12-month period ended in January, import prices rose 0.9 percent, as a climb in import nonfuel prices (+2.5 percent) more than offset a tumble in import fuel prices (-13.4 percent). This represented the first over-the-year increase since January 2020 and the largest 12-month advance since October 2018.

Meanwhile, the price index for U.S. exports jumped 2.5 percent m-o-m in January, following a revised 1.3 percent m-o-m gain in the previous month (a 1.1 percent m-o-m growth).

The January rise was driven by higher prices for both agricultural exports (+6.0 percent m-o-m) and nonagricultural exports (+2.2 percent m-o-m).

Over the past 12 months, the price index for exports rose 2.3 percent, reflecting surges in prices of both agricultural exports (+9.4 percent) and nonagricultural exports (+1.5 percent). This marked the largest 12-month advance since October 2018.


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