August import prices fall 0.4 percent on petroleum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Import prices fell in August due to lower fuel, food and industrial material costs, a government report showed on Tuesday.

A drop in prices for petroleum helped push import prices 0.4 percent lower following a 0.3 percent increase in the previous month, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected import prices to fall 0.8 percent in August.

Excluding petroleum, import prices rose 0.3 percent, accelerating from a 0.1 percent increase in July.

Prices for imported cars and car parts were unchanged last month, while consumer goods rose 0.3 percent when autos and parts were stripped out.

Export prices rose 0.5 percent in August after falling 0.4 percent in July. Economists had expected export prices to be unchanged last month.

(Reporting by Jason Lange, Editing by Andrea Ricci)