Import prices stayed steady as export prices rose for December, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.
After a steep revised 0.9% drop in November, import prices remained the same for the last month of 2013. Analysts had expected a 0.4% uptick. While fuel prices headed 0.4% higher, nonfuel prices declined 0.1% to keep imports unchanged.
Export prices increased 0.4% for the second month of gains, beating out analyst expectations of a 0.1% increase. Both agricultural and non-agricultural prices rose, adding on 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.
In the last year, import prices have dropped 1.3% as exports slumped a slightly smaller 1%, pushed down by a 6.3% drop in agricultural export prices.
On a regional basis, 2013 import prices from China fell 0.8% after dropping 0.6% in 2012. 2013's decrease was the largest since 2009, and Japan's 0.3% dip was the largest since 1997.