February 6, 2023
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US Import Prices Fall for 5th Consecutive Month in November – 12/14/2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. import prices fell for a fifth straight month in November, driven by falling prices for petroleum products and other commodities, supporting views that inflation may continue to moderate in coming months.

Import prices, excluding tariffs, fell 0.6% last month after falling 0.4% in October, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.5% decline.

In the 12 months to November, import prices rose 2.7%, the smallest gain since January 2021 after rising 4.1% in October.

The government reported on Tuesday that consumer prices rose moderately in November. The Federal Reserve, on its fastest rate hike since the 1980s, is set to raise rates by 50 basis points on Wednesday, snapping four consecutive 75-point hikes.

Imported fuel prices fell 2.8% last month, after falling 2.7% in October. Oil prices fell by 3.3%, while imported food prices rose by 1.8%.

Import prices, excluding fuel and food, fell 0.6%, down from 0.1% in October. Key import prices are being pressured by the strength of the dollar against the currencies of the US’s main trading partners. The dollar has gained about 6.2% on a trade-weighted basis this year.

(Reporting by Lucia Muticani)