WASHINGTON — U.S. import prices rose by 0.2% in September, led by gain in fuel prices and higher food prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

Fuel prices rose by 0.6%, with petroleum import prices up 0.8%, but natural gas prices down 6.9%, continuing their slide.

Food, feeds, and beverage import prices rose 0.5% in the month. Excluding both food and fuels, total import prices were flat in the month after declined in the preceding months.

While nonfuel industrial supply prices rose 0.6%, capital goods prices and auto vehicle and parts prices were both flat, and consumer goods prices fell 0.1%.

Despite the rise in September import prices, the index was still down 1.0% from a year ago, a faster rate of decline than the 0.2% 12-month decline in August. Non-fuel import prices, in contrast, were up 1.8% over the last 12 months.

By region, prices for imports from China rose 0.1% in September, as did prices of imports from Canada and from Mexico. Import prices from the EU rose 0.4%, but import prices from Japan fell 0.2%.

Total export prices rose 0.3% in September, the first increase in the index since February. Agricultural export prices rose 0.7%, while export prices excluding agriculture rose 0.3% after a flat reading in August and declines in previous five months.

The September rise still leaves export prices 1.6% lower than a year ago, a steeper drop than the 1.0% year/year decline in August.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

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