Prices Of Imported Goods Up 0.4 Percent In November
Dec 11, 2003
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Prices of imported goods rose in November amid the biggest surge in prices of consumer and capital goods in 3-1/2 half years.

Overall import prices grew at the fastest pace in four months, rising 0.4 percent, according to the Labor Department. The acceleration mainly reflected a surge in prices of nonpetroleum goods, such as consumer items and capital equipment, which rose 0.3 percent. Petroleum prices rose 1.1 percent, slowing from a 1.4-percent rate in October.

The increase in import prices slightly exceeded Wall Street's expectations, which had called for a gain of 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent. But it validated the Federal's view that the risk of deflation is fading amid an acceleration in global economic growth.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 8.2 percent from July through September, marking the fastest rate in nearly two decades. The surge eased the worries of Fed policy makers, who had grown increasingly worried over the last year that deflation could emerge if the economy continued to sputter.

The Labor Department's latest report showed that prices of imported consumer goods rose 0.3percent in November, marking the biggest increase since July 2000. Prices of imported capital goods rose 0.2 percent, the biggest gain in 5 months.

Price increases were even sharper in year-on-year terms. In the 12 months through November, prices rose 2.1 percent, the fastest annual rate since July. Excluding petroleum products, import prices rose 1.1 percent year-on-year in November.

Prices of goods imported from the European Union (EU) registered the biggest increase in November, according to the Labor Department. Those prices climbed 0.5 percent, the biggest increase in 6 months, as the U.S. dollar lost value against the European common currency.

Prices of imports from Japan also registered the biggest gain in six months—an increase of 0.2 percent that reflected the dollar's decline against the Japanese yen. Prices of imports from Canada rose 0.3 percent, rebounding after a 0.2-percent decline in October.

Prices of imports from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South fell for a fifth consecutive month, dropping 0.2 percent. Prices of goods from Latin America rose 0.1 percent, slowing from a 0.7-percent increase in October.

Export prices rose for a third consecutive month in November, climbing 0.5 percent after a 0.3-percent gain in October. (Dow Jones)

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