WASHINGTON - U.S. import prices rose 0.4% in February, after being revised to unchanged in January, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The February increase, marking only the second time that import prices have risen more than 0.1% since the index showed a 2.6% gain last April, came as higher fuel prices more than offset declining non-fuel prices.

The gain was lower than the 0.6% median increase projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Prices of fuel imports rose 1.4% after being revised to unchanged in January, originally reported as a 0.3% gain.

Nonfuel import prices fell 0.1% after rising an unrevised 0.1% in January.

Year over year, import prices grew 5.5% through February, down from the 7.1% year-over-year change reported last month for January.

Export prices rose 0.4% in February, the largest monthly increase since a 0.5% gain in September, after rising an unrevised 0.2% in January. The February gain was led by a 0.5% increase in prices for nonagricultural prices, which more than offset a 0.9% decline in prices for agricultural exports.

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