NEW YORK: US import prices fell in March, as a stronger dollar made foreign goods cheaper to US companies. The import price index fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month against consensus forecast of a 0.4% decline.
The index was down 10.5% year-on-year, a decline largely driven by prices for petroleum and petroleum product plummeting 45.1% from the previous year.
However, prices for crude and crude-related products climbed 0.8% month-on-month in March, reflecting the slight rebound in oil prices over the last couple of weeks.
Non-petroleum imports declined 0.4% month-on-month and 2.7% from March 2014, with food and beverages, industrial supplies, consumer goods and auto parts all registering a decline.
“The rise in oil prices during February and March has led to a more measured decline in overall imported inflation, and we expect the drag from oil energy prices to fade,” analysts at Barclays (LSE: BARC.L – news) said in a note.
“However, non-petroleum import prices have declined for eight consecutive months now, and a stronger dollar should continue to weigh on them in the coming months.”