Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Rising crude oil and food prices made February the fifth consecutive month to mark an increase in import prices above 1 percent. Import prices increased 1.4 percent from January, which was revised down to 1.3 percent (previously 1.5 percent). Year-over-year growth rose to 6.9 percent compared to January’s 5.4 percent, showing the highest increase since May 2010. Petroleum prices jumped 3.4 percent from last month, marking a five-month consecutive increase. Excluding petroleum, import prices increased slightly by 0.6 percent, down from January’s 0.8 percent gain. Although nonpetroleum import prices showed decreased gains compared to the previous month, they grew on a year-ago basis by 3.5 percent indicating the largest gain in more than two years. Food and beverage import prices decelerated from last month (2.5 percent) to 0.8 percent. Nonetheless, the year-over-year change of food and beverage prices, currently 15.8 percent, has charted double-digit growth since October 2010.
Export prices increased 1.3 percent in February showing a modest 0.1 percent gain from January (1.2 percent). On a year-over-year basis, export prices increased 8.6 percent. Similar to last month, gains were broad based across categories.