The U.S. import price index was down 3.0% in September, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

Thomson Reuters had predicted a 2.5% decrease for the imports index. The 3.0% decrease in the index followed a revised 2.6% fall in import prices in August, originally reported as a 3.7% drop.

Excluding petroleum, the import price index fell 0.9% in the month, after a revised 0.5% slip in August, originally reported as a 0.3% drop. Excluding fuels, imports were down 0.5% in the month.

Petroleum import prices slumped 9.0% in September after a revised 8.2% drop in August, originally reported as a 12.8% decrease, BLS said. In the past year, petroleum import prices have soared 47.1%, compared to a 14.5% climb in the overall import price index and a 6.5% rise in non-petroleum imports.

The drop in import prices was the largest one month fall since April 2003. The 5.5% drop in the past two months was the largest two-month decline since the index was first published monthly in December 1988.

Meanwhile, export prices slid 1.0%, after an unrevised 1.7% increase in August.

The decline in export prices was led by a 1.0% drop in non-agricultural prices, although agricultural prices also fell, sliding 0.3%. Despite a 2.7% drop in the past two months, the largest since the series started, export prices were up 6.8% for the year ended in September.

The decline in non-agricultural prices in September followed a 0.7% drop in August, and was the largest one-month drop since the index was first published monthly in December 1988.

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