The report released by the Labor Department on Thursday revealed the
U.S. import-price index edged down 0.1 percent m-o-m in February, following a
downwardly revised 0.4 percent m-o-m fall (from -0.2 percent m-o-m) in January.
That marked the eighth straight monthly drop in U.S.
Economists had predicted prices to decline 0.2 percent m-o-m last
According to the report, the February slip was due to a 4.9 percent
m-o-m tumble in import fuel prices that was offset by a 0.4 percent m-o-m jump
in prices for nonfuel imports.
Over the 12-month period ended in February, import prices decreased 1.1
percent, reflecting an 11.6 percent
plunge in fuel prices that was offset by a 0.2 percent gain in nonfuel prices. That
was the first 12-month drop since December 2020.
The report also revealed that the price index for U.S. exports rose 0.2
percent m-o-m in February, following a downwardly revised 0.5 percent m-o-m advance
(from +0.8 percent m-o-m) in the previous month. That marked the second straight
monthly rise in export prices.
Economists had forecast export prices to fall 0.1 percent m-o-m in February.
The February increase in the U.S. export-price index was attributable to
a 1.0 percent m-o-m surge in prices for agricultural exports and a 0.1 percent
m-o-m uptick in prices for nonagricultural exports.
Over the past 12 months, the price index for
exports dropped 0.8 percent, reflecting a 1.5 percent fall in prices of agricultural
exports that was offset by a 3.3 rise in prices for nonagricultural exports. That
was the first 12-month decline since November 2020.