U.S. import prices fell by the most in five months in May amid a broad decline in the cost of goods, the latest indication of muted inflation that strengthens the case for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
The Labor Department said on Thursday import prices dropped 0.3% last month, the biggest decline since last December. Data for April was revised down to show import prices rising 0.1% instead of climbing 0.2% as previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices slipping 0.2% in May. In the 12 months through May, import prices fell 1.5% after decreasing 0.3% in April.
The report came on the heels of data on Wednesday showing consumer prices remained tame in May, supporting financial market expectations that the Fed would cut rates this year.
The calls for an easing of monetary policy are being driven by a slowing economy against the backdrop of worsening trade tensions between the United States and China. President Donald Trump in early May imposed additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting retaliation by Beijing.
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