A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed import prices in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of February.
The Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.4 percent in February after climbing by a revised 0.8 percent in January.
Economists had expected import prices to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 1.0 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected increase in import prices came as prices for non-fuel imports climbed by 0.5 percent for the second consecutive month.
Higher prices for capital goods, consumer goods, non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, foods, feeds, and beverages, and automotive vehicles all contributed to the advance.
On the other hand, the report said prices for fuel imports fell by 0.6 percent in February after spiking by 3.2 percent in January.
The report also said export prices increased by 0.2 percent in February after rising by 0.8 percent in January. Export prices were expected to rise by 0.3 percent.
Prices for agricultural exports climbed by 0.6 percent in February after inching up by 0.1 percent in the previous month.
The increase was driven by higher prices for corn and soybeans, which surged up by 7.2 percent and
2.5 percent, respectively.
The Labor Department said prices for non-agricultural exports edged up by 0.2 percent in February after rising by 0.8 percent in January.
Higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, consumer goods, capital goods, and automotive vehicles all contributed to the monthly increase.
Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were up by 3.5 percent in February, while export prices were up by 3.3 percent.