Higher oil prices pushed prices for imported goods higher in July for the first time in three months, though at half the pace economists had expected, Labor Department data showed on Thursday.
Import prices rose 0.2 percent in July after falling 1.3 percent in June and a revised 0.8 percent in May. That left the three-month cumulative total down 2.0 percent, the largest decline since the three months ended February 2009.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices to rise 0.4 percent in July.
Prices for exported goods unexpectedly fell 0.2 percent in July after falling a revised 0.7 percent in the prior month. The Reuters poll showed economists expecting a 0.1 percent increase in July.
Oil import prices rose 2.0 percent last month after falling for two months while prices excluding oil fell 0.2 percent.
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