US Import Prices Rise 1.3% in May

A surge in the cost of petroleum boosted U.S. import prices in May after 10 straight months of declines, but a strong dollar continued to curb underlying imported inflation pressures.

The Labor Department said on Thursday import prices increased 1.3 percent last month, the largest gain since March 2012, after sliding by a revised 0.2 percent in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices rising 0.8 percent after a previously reported 0.3 percent drop in April. In the 12 months through May prices fell 9.6 percent.

Last month, imported petroleum prices surged 12.7 percent percent, the biggest increase since June 2009, after increasing 1.8 percent in April.

Import prices excluding petroleum were unchanged in May. The dollar, which has gained about 13.2 percent against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners since June, is dampening underlying imported inflation pressures.

Imported food prices rose 0.3 percent after declining 1.0 percent in April.

via Reuters

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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