Rise in US import prices slows in July
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Reuters) – Import prices in the United States rose less than expected in July, a sign that inflationary pressures may have peaked as supply chain bottlenecks that have affected the US economy are starting to fade.
Import prices rose 0.3% last month after jumping 1.1% in June, the Labor Department said on Friday. The ninth consecutive monthly gain left the year-on-year increase at 10.2% from 11.3% the month before, but it was the smallest monthly increase since November of last year.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices, excluding tariffs, to rise 0.6%.
The government announced earlier this week that consumer prices moderated in July even though they remained at a 13-year annual high, as producer prices posted their largest annual increase in addition to more ‘a decade.
Rising COVID-19 vaccinations, low interest rates and nearly $ 6 trillion in government assistance since the start of the pandemic are fueling demand along with rising commodity costs, low stocks and a global shipping container crisis are straining the supply chain.
Imported fuel prices advanced 2.9% last month after rising 5.5% in June. Oil prices rose 2.1%, while the cost of imported food rose 0.3%. Excluding fuel and food products, import prices edged down 0.1%. These so-called “core” import prices rose 0.6% in June.
The report also showed that export prices rose 1.3% in July after increasing 1.2% in June. The prices of agricultural exports fell by 1.7%. Non-agricultural export prices advanced 1.6%.
Export prices rose 17.2% year-on-year in July after jumping 16.9% in June. (Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)