US Import Prices Rise in December Despite Strong USD

U.S. import prices rose in December, boosted by higher prices for petroleum products, but a strong dollar kept underlying imported inflation in subdued.

The Labor Department said on Thursday import prices increased 0.4 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.2 percent decline in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices advancing 0.7 percent last month after a previously reported 0.3 percent drop. In the 12 months through December, import prices jumped 1.8 percent, the largest gain since March 2012, after edging up 0.1 percent in the 12 months through November.

Import prices are rising as the drag from lower oil prices fades. Oil prices have risen above $50 per barrel. But underlying import prices are likely to remain soft amid sustained dollar strength.

The dollar gained 4.4 percent against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners last year.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza