August import prices held steady and export prices slid 0.5%, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected import prices to gain 0.4%.

In July import prices rose 0.1%, originally reported as a 0.2% increase, and export prices posted an unrevised 0.1% dip.

Petroleum imports gained 0.8% after a 2.7% jump in July, while excluding food and fuels, import prices fell 0.2% in August after a 0.4% decline in July.

Non-petroleum imports dropped 0.2% after a 0.6% slide in July, while non-fuel imports fell 0.2% after a 0.4% drop in July.

Exports excluding food and fuels dipped 0.3% after a similar fall in July, while agricultural exports fell 4.3% and non-agricultural exports dipped 0.1%.

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