(RTTNews) - With fuel prices continuing to skyrocket, the Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. import prices surged up by more than expected in the month of June.
The report said import prices shot up by 1.4 percent in June after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.8 percent in May.
Economists had expected import prices to jump by 1.0 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.
Fuel import prices led the way higher once again, soaring by 21.9 percent in June after spiking by 15.4 percent in May.
Higher prices for both petroleum and natural gas contributed to the jump, which reflected the biggest increase since the index was first published monthly in September 1992.
Excluding fuel prices, import prices rose by a much more modest 0.3 percent in June after inching up by 0.1 percent in May.
The uptick came as higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and consumer goods more than offset lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and automotive vehicles.
The Labor Department said export prices also surged up by 1.4 percent in June after rising by a downwardly revised 0.4 percent in May.
Export prices were expected to climb by 0.8 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected increase in export prices came as prices for agricultural exports and non-agricultural exports both jumped by 1.4 percent.
Agricultural export prices rose for the first time since January, reflecting higher prices for dairy products, vegetables, corn, and soybeans.
The increase in prices for non-agricultural exports was led by higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, which more than offset declining prices for capital goods and non-agricultural foods.
Despite the monthly increase, import prices in June were down by 3.8 percent compared to the same month a year ago, as fuel prices plunged by 36.4 percent.
Export prices were down by 4.4 percent year-over-year, as prices for agricultural exports and non-agricultural exports tumbled by 4.5 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.
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