Prices declined for U.S. imports and exports in December, the government said Friday in a report that signals a cooling global economy that is hurting exporters but keeping gasoline prices under control.
The Labor Department reported that overall import prices fell 0.1 percent, in line with economist expectations. Prices fell 0.1 percent for both fuel and non-fuel imports, pointing to a tame inflation environment.
At the same time, export prices fell, dragged lower by a 0.2 percent drop in prices for non-agricultural exports. Prices fell for exported capital goods and consumer goods.
U.S. manufacturers selling goods abroad seem to have declining power in pricing as the global economy slows due to the European debt crisis, the report indicated.