U.S. Import Prices Rose in September

By Sarah Chaney and Ben Leubsdorf Features Dow Jones Newswires

Overall prices for foreign goods shipped to the U.S. rose in September, reflecting broad price increases including a jump in fuel costs.

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Import prices increased 0.7% in September from a month earlier, the largest month-over-month rise since an increase of 0.7% in June 2016, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.6% increase in import prices. Unlike most measures of inflation, import prices are not adjusted for seasonality.

Outside of petroleum, import prices increased 0.3% last month.

The Labor Department noted Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a "small impact" on the collection of import-price data for September.

Over the past year, overall import prices grew 2.7%.

The import-price index is one of several gauges the Federal Reserve studies to understand how quickly prices for products are rising in the U.S. The broader personal-consumption-expenditures price index, which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, grew a modest 1.4% in August from a year earlier, undershooting the Fed's 2% target. That annual inflation reading has been below the Fed's target nearly every month for more than five years.

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Tuesday's report also showed prices for U.S. exports increased an average 0.8% in September from a month earlier. From a year earlier, export prices were up 2.9%.

The Labor Department report on import and export prices can be accessed at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.toc.htm.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)