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Import and export prices are both down for the third month in a row, according to a May Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.
After falling a revised 0.7% in April, import prices made the biggest splash, with a 0.6% decline for May. A 1.9% fall in fuel prices was the primary reason for this month's decline, with just a 0.3% drop in nonfuel import prices. In the past year, overall import prices are down 1.9%, mostly due to a 4.4% drop in fuel prices.
Export prices fell 0.5%, not quite keeping up with import prices. Analysts had expected import prices to stay steady, with predictions for a 0.1% decline in export prices. Unlike imports, nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials provided the primary pull, with a 1.8% decline in May . Agricultural export prices headed 1% higher. Over the past year, export prices have fallen 0.9%, even as agricultural prices have increased 4.7%.