February U.S. Import Prices Rise With Petroleum Prices

The Dept. of Labor reports that the import price index was up 0.2 percent for February, due to a 2 percent increase in petroleum prices.

As petroleum pricing begin to rise, import prices will follow suit.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, due to a 2 percent increase in petroleum prices, the import price index rose 0.2 percent for February 2007 after dropping to -0.9 in January.

For the second month, nonpetroleum prices slipped 0.1 percent, after having risen 0.5 and 1.0 percent in December and November. A decrease in capital goods and nonpetroleum industrial supplies helped push down overall nonpetroleum prices.

Export prices continued a four-month trend and increased 0.7 percent for February, marking the highest jump since June 2006. Agricultural and nonagricultural prices were both contributors to the increase, rising 2.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

For the past year, agricultural products were up 16.9 percent, mainly as a result of higher corn and soybean prices. A 2.1 percent increase in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices was the main factor behind the nonagricultural products increase of 3.7 percent for the past year.

Automotive prices recorded a 0.1 percent increase for February, having remained stable since its 0.2 percent increase in October. Foods, feeds and beverages prices also increased for the month, moving up 0.2 percent as higher prices for fish negated the falling prices for fruits and vegetables.

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