U.S. import prices rise strongly in February, boosted by crude oil, commodities



Reuters Staff | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. import prices increased strongly in February, boosted by higher costs for crude oil and commodities, strengthening expectations for an acceleration in inflation this year.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday import prices rose 1.3% last month after surging 1.4% in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices, which exclude tariffs, advancing 1.2% in February.

In the 12 months through February, import prices accelerated 3.0%. That was the largest gain since March 2012 and followed a 1.0% rise in January.

Oil prices have recovered to pre-pandemic levels amid expectations of a pick-up global economic growth, but the COVID-19 pandemic is caused disruptions to the supply chain, boosting prices of commodities.

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