Import Prices Increase More Than Expected in February

Politics Reuters

A Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL Group) container is seen on the German-owned cargo vessel "Smaragd" at Malta Freeport in the Port of Marsaxlokk outside Valletta February 10, 2012. The IRISL ships and containers are key parts in an ... international cat-and-mouse game: Iran's attempt to evade the trade sanctions tightening around it. Washington and European capitals want to stop or slow Iran's nuclear programme. They believe that IRISL, which moves nearly a third of Iran's exports and imports and is central to the country's trade, plays a critical role in evading sanctions against shipping controlled weapons, missiles and nuclear technology to and from Iran. Picture taken February 10, 2012. To match Special Report IRAN/SMUGGLING REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi (MALTA - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT MARITIME ENERGY)

U.S. import prices rose more than expected in February, driven by the biggest increase in fuel prices since August, a U.S. Labor Department report showed on Wednesday.

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Overall import prices rose 1.1%, also the highest since August and more than double the consensus forecast of 0.5% in a Reuters poll.

Fuel import prices rose 4.9% in February, led by a 5.2% increase in petroleum prices. Non-fuel import prices were unchanged from the prior month.

Export prices rose 0.8% in February, the largest monthly gain since September. Higher corn and soybeans prices fueled the increases, along with higher prices for industrial goods and materials, capital goods and autos.