A report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed U.S. import prices increased by less than expected in the month of May.
The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.6 percent in May after rising by a revised 0.4 percent in April.
Economists had expected import prices to jump by 1.1 percent compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.
The increase in import prices came as prices for fuel imports soared by 7.5 percent in May following a 0.5 percent advance in April.
On the other hand, the report showed prices for non-fuel imports fell by 0.3 percent in May after climbing by 0.4 percent in April.
Prices for non-fuel imports decreased for the first time since November 2020 amid lower prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, consumer goods, and foods, feeds, and beverages
Meanwhile, the report showed export prices surged by 2.8 percent in May following a 0.8 percent increase in April. Export prices were expected to shoot up by 1.3 percent.
Prices for agricultural exports spiked by 2.1 percent during the month, while prices for non-agricultural exports soared by 2.9 percent.
Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices were up by 11.7 percent. Export prices were up by 18.9 percent year-over-year.
“Easier annual comparisons imply that import price inflation may be past a peak barring another significant acceleration in fuel prices,” said Mahir Rasheed, U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
He added, “However, a return to pre-pandemic levels will likely be delayed until later this year given upside risks to energy prices, ongoing strength in the dollar, and lingering supply-side challenges related to challenging economic conditions abroad.”
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