UPDATE 1-U.S. import, export prices rise in March

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WASHINGTON, April 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. import prices rose in
March on strong petroleum prices, a government report showed on
Tuesday, but underlying import cost pressures were more subdued
as the dollar strengthened.

Import prices rose 0.7 percent after falling a revised 0.2
percent in February, the Labor Department said. Analysts polled
by Reuters had forecast import prices would rise 0.9 percent in
March from a previously reported 0.3 percent fall.

In the 12 months to March, import prices rose 11.4
percent.

March’s monthly rise reflected a 4.0 percent increase in
the price of imported petroleum and petroleum products after a
1.4 percent decline in February. Excluding petroleum, import
prices fell 0.2 percent following a 0.2 percent gain in
February.

Strength in the U.S. dollar will likely keep underlying
import prices moderate for a while, contributing to an overall
subdued inflation tone. This should help the Federal Reserve to
maintain its pledge to keep benchmark overnight interest rates
ultra low for an extended period.

The Labor Department report showed export prices rebounded
by a stronger than expected 0.7 percent in March after dropping
0.4 percent the prior month. Analysts had expected export
prices to gain 0.3 percent. In the 12 months to March, export
prices rose 4.6 percent, the largest gain since September 2008.

Export prices were buoyed by hefty gains in agricultural
products, foods and industrial supplies and materials. Export
prices for agricultural commodities rose 2.1 percent in March
from February, while industrial supplies and materials
increased 1.8 percent.
Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

UPDATE 1-U.S. import, export prices rise in March