Updated Oct 14, 2022 - Economy

Import prices fall as fuel prices reverse gear

Change in U.S. imports price index
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Tory Lysik

Import prices are cooling off as the strained global supply chains catch a much-needed break from lower fuel prices.

By the numbers: Import prices declined by 1.2% from August to September, marking the third straight monthly drop, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

  • Third-quarter import costs retreated by 3.7%, marking the largest three-month drop since the pandemic began.

Why it matters: Import prices drive the cost of goods for businesses and consumers, so any signs of a decline are a help in the fight against inflation.

The big picture: A 7.5% decline in the price of imported fuel from August to September — including natural gas and petroleum — is a big reason for the overall drop in import prices.

  • But nonfuel import prices also fell by 0.4%, despite a 0.2% gain in the price of foods, feeds and beverages.
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