Overall prices for foreign goods shipped to the U.S. rose in September, reflecting broad price increases including a jump in fuel costs.
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.
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 email@example.com and Ben Leubsdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 17, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)