U.S. import prices dropped 0.6 percent in July, the third month in which fuel and non-fuel imports contributed to the decline, the Labor Department said Friday.
Import prices fell 2.4 percent in June and 1.5 percent in May
In contrast, U.S. export prices rose 0.5 percent in July, following a 1.7 percent decline the previous month, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a release.
Import prices over the past 12 months fell 3.2 percent after rising 13.7 percent between July 2010 and July 2011, the bureau said. The July 2011-2012 drop was the largest year-to-year decrease in import prices since a 5.6 percent drop for a 12-month period ending in October 2009.
The price index for import fuel fell 1.2 percent in July, following declines in the previous three months, the BLS said.
Non-fuel prices also fell in July, declining 0.4 percent, following a 0.3 percent decrease in June. The July decline, the largest monthly drop since a 0.4 percent decrease in June 2010, was paced by lower prices for non-fuel industrial goods, foods, feeds and beverages.
Export prices rose 0.5 percent in July after falling 1.7 percent in June and 0.5 percent in May, the bureau said. In a year-to-year comparison, the price index for U.S. exports fell 1.2 percent between July 2011 and July 2012.
Prices for agricultural exports rose 6.4 percent in July following a 3.6 percent decline in June. The price index for non-agricultural exports was down 0.3 percent in July after falling 1.5 percent in June.