U.S. import prices advance, inflation prospects heighten
Import prices in the United States advanced above expectations in March. The increase was mainly from upbeat petroleum prices and robust supply chains, indicating that the country’s inflation is gaining momentum as the economy reopens.
After a 1.3% jump in February, import prices advanced higher with a 1.2% record in March. This marked the fifth straight month of gains, sending the annual reading to 6.9%. As a result, this now stands as the sharpest level of jump since January 2012.
Imported fuel prices, which accelerated 11.7% in February, recorded a 6.3% jump in March. Petroleum prices, on the other hand, hiked 6.7%.
The figures from the Labor Department came after the country released upbeat producer and consumer prices. With the government’s effort of expediting vaccine rollouts and releasing fiscal stimulus, supply chains were relieved from constraints and inflation was supported.