Import prices rise more than expected in February

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.

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

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

Export prices rose 0.8 percent 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.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Neil Stempleman)