Import prices in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in the month of January, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, while export price growth also exceeded estimates.
The Labor Department said import prices surged up by 1.0 percent in January after edging up by a revised 0.2 percent in December.
Economists had expected import prices to climb by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected increase in import prices was partly due to another spike in prices for fuel imports, which shot up by 4.7 percent in January after jumping by 2.9 percent in December.
Excluding prices for fuel imports, import prices rose by 0.4 percent in January after edging down by 0.1 percent in December.
Higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, automotive vehicles, foods, feeds, and beverages, and capital goods all contributed to the rebound.
The report also said export prices increased by 0.8 percent in January after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in December.
Export prices had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
The stronger than expected export price growth came as rising prices for non-agricultural exports more than offset a slight drop in prices for agricultural exports.
The Labor Department said prices for non-agricultural exports advanced by 0.9 percent in January after ticking up by 0.1 percent in December.
Prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, automotive vehicles, and consumer goods all rose during the month.
On the other hand, the report said prices for agricultural exports edged down by 0.1 percent in January after dipping by 0.3 percent in December.
The continued decrease in prices for agricultural exports was driven by a 5.8 percent slump in soybean and other oilseeds prices.
Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were up by 3.6 percent in January, while export prices were up by 3.4 percent.