WASHINGTON — Import prices jumped more than economists expected in November, rising 1.3% as export prices surged by 1.5%, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.
Economists expected a gain of 0.8% in overall import prices, according to the median estimate in a Thomson Reuters survey of forecasters.
Fuel import prices rose precipitously for a second straight month, growing by 3.7% after a revised 3.8% gain the previous month.
The high cost of gasoline has been driven by a 4.1% increase in the price of the petroleum it’s processed from. Import prices excluding fuel increased 0.8% and prices excluding petroleum crept up 0.7%.
The headline 1.3% November gain came after the Labor Department upwardly revised October import prices to a 1.0% rise from an originally reported 0.9% increase.
The November rise was the largest since a 1.5% increase in November 2009.
For the year ending in November, import prices are up by 3.7%, down slightly from the 3.8% year-over-year gain reported for the 12 months ending in October.