Import prices headed down as export prices edged up for November, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as pdf) released today.
Import prices fell 0.6% for the second straight month after rising throughout the summer. These latest dips were primarily due to falling fuel prices. For November, a 3.5% dip in petroleum prices kept fuel on the cheap, even as natural gas headed 9.4% higher. Analysts had expected an import prices dip, but their 0.8% prediction proved slightly too large.
Exports edged up 0.1% for November, a welcome turnaround after October's 0.6% decline. Analysts were pleasantly surprised, having expected another month in the red with a 0.3% dip. More expensive capital goods and consumer goods helped to offset a 0.2% decline in agricultural export prices.
On a regional basis, import prices from Japan fell 0.1%, while China imports remained unchanged. European Union import prices increased 0.2% for November .
In the last year, import prices have dropped 1.5%, while export prices have dipped 1.6%.