WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. import prices
recorded their largest increase in seven months in November as
the cost of petroleum surged, a government report showed on
Wednesday, but underlying imported inflation pressures remain
Overall import prices rebounded 0.7 percent, the Labor
Department said, after falling 0.5 percent in October. The
increase last month was the largest since April.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected prices to rise 0.9
percent last month. Import prices were up 9.9 percent in the 12
months through November.
Stripping out petroleum, import prices fell 0.2 percent after
declining 0.3 percent in October.
Despite the 3.6 percent spike in the cost of imported
petroleum last month, inflation pressures remain largely in
check, after a surge in energy prices early this year dampened
The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday it expected inflation to
settle at levels at or below those consistent with its price
Data on Thursday is expected to show that energy costs pushed
wholesale prices up 0.2 percent last month, according to a
Reuters survey, after declining 0.3 percent in October.
However, slow growth and high unemployment mean producers
have little scope to pass on the increased costs to consumers.
Consumer prices are seen edging up 0.1 percent in November after
slipping 0.1 percent in October.
Imported petroleum prices rose in November for the first time
since July and reversed a 1.1 percent drop in October.
Pointing to benign inflation pressures, imported food prices
slipped 0.1 percent last month after falling 0.7 percent in
Elsewhere, the cost of imported capital goods edged up 0.1
percent after falling 0.3 percent in October. Imported motor
vehicle prices rose 0.2 percent after being flat in October.
The Labor Department report also showed export prices nudged
up 0.1 percent last month after dropping 2.1 percent in October.
Analysts had expected export prices to gain 0.3 percent.
Export prices were up 4.7 percent in the 12 months to
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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