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Prices of imported goods see biggest increase in nearly a year

April 11, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Hyundai vehicles are unloaded at a port. Prices for imported goods rose 1.3% in March, according to the Labor Department.
Hyundai vehicles are unloaded at a port. Prices for imported goods rose… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

The prices of imported goods last month saw the largest increase in nearly a year, gaining 1.3% as fuel costs rose.

The last time prices for items made abroad jumped so much was last April, when they spiked 2.6%. In February, prices fell 0.1%, according to the Labor Department. Last month’s increase (which represents a 3.4% advance from March 2011) was the first since November.

The prices of goods from Canada, Europe and Mexico all rose; items from China and Japan stayed the same.

On a month-to-month basis, March saw the price of imported fuel soar 3.8%. Petroleum prices alone were up 4.3%. Americans are paying an average $3.91 for a gallon of regular gas, up 12 cents from a year ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge.

Food and beverages brought in from abroad were 1.8% more expensive, buoyed by more costly vegetables and fruits. Autos and parts from other countries are 0.3% pricier.

Going the other way, U.S. exports are commanding 0.8% higher prices.


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