U.S. import prices surge in October on petroleum, food

U.S. import prices surge in October on petroleum, food

U.S. import prices surged in October as the costs of petroleum products and food increased, adding to signs that inflation could remain high for a while.

Import prices accelerated 1.2% last month after gaining 0.4% in September, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. In the 12 months through October, prices jumped 10.7% after rising 9.3% in September. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices, which exclude tariffs, increasing 1.0%.

Imported fuel prices soared 8.6% last month after increasing 3.9% in September. Petroleum prices advanced 8.1%, while the cost of imported food rose 0.8%.

Excluding fuel and food, import prices gained 0.3%. These so-called core import prices were unchanged in September and were up 5.0% on a year-on-year basis in October.

The report also showed export prices shot up 1.5% in October after rising 0.4% in September. Prices for agricultural exports rebounded 1.0%. Nonagricultural export prices powered ahead 1.5%. Export prices surged 18.0% year-on-year in October, the biggest increase since the series was first published in September 1983. Prices rose 16.5% from a year ago in September.

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