Friday, April 11, 2008

Import Prices Spike Hard

From the BLS:

The U.S. Import Price Index increased 2.8 percent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, as higher prices for both petroleum and nonpetroleum imports contributed to the advance. The rise followed 0.2 percent and 1.5 percent increases in February and January. Export prices rose 1.5 percent in March, after advancing 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent for the prior two months.

The price index for overall imports rose 2.8 percent in March, led by a 9.1 percent advance in petroleum prices. Petroleum prices resumed an upward trend following a 1.9 percent downturn in February. Prices for petroleum rose 60.0 percent for the year ended in March following a comparatively modest 3.1 percent rise over the previous 12-month period. A 1.1 percent increase in nonpetroleum prices also contributed to the overall rise and was the largest one-month increase for the index since nonpetroleum prices were first published on a monthly basis in December 1988. The price indexes for overall imports and nonpetroleum imports also advanced for the March 2007-08 period, increasing 14.8 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

Here's the chart from econoday:

For those of you who want some more info, here are two pieces I wrote earlier this week:

What inflation

What inflation, part II.