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HomeMarketU.S. import prices fall for seventh straight month in January

U.S. import prices fall for seventh straight month in January

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The numbers: The cost of goods imported into the U.S. fell 0.2% in January, the Labor Department said Friday. Import prices have not recorded a gain since June.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.1% decline in January.

Import prices in December were revised to show a fall of 0.1%, much weaker than the initial estimate of a 0.4% gain.

Import prices minus fuel rose 0.3% last month after advancing 0.4% in December. The gain was led by higher prices for foods, capital goods, autos and consumer goods.

Key details: Overall, U.S. import prices have declined 4.9% from last June. Over the past year, the price of imported goods rose 0.8%. That’s the smallest year-on-year rise since December 2020.

Excluding fuel, the cost of imports rose 0.8% over the past year, the smallest 12-month rise since August 2020.

Big picture: The strong dollar has pushed down import prices. But that trend has reversed and that could be why non-fuel import prices have started rising, said Josh Shapiro, U.S. economist at MFR Inc.

Market reaction: Stocks

were set to open lower on Friday on concern about the prospect of rising interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 3.89%. That’s up from 3.42% on Monday.


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