WASHINGTON — Import prices rose 1.1% in December as fuel costs increased, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
Total export prices expanded by 0.7% last month. For the year, export prices increased 6.5% to post their largest calendar-year gain since the Labor Department started the index in 1983.
Nonfuel imports were up 0.3% and imports excluding petroleum gained 0.4%.
Economists expected import prices to increase 1.2%, according to Thomson Reuters. Import prices for November were revised upward to a 1.5% increase from the 1.3% reported last month.
“Imported goods prices jumped again in December, mainly because of sharply higher petroleum prices,” Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said in a research note. “These data suggest some upside risk to next week’s” producer price index and consumer price index forecasts.