The Commerce Department said Thursday import prices in February rose 0.2%, meeting the median economic forecast, but underlying inflation pressures remain. Excluding fuels, import prices rose 0.3% for the largest increase since July.
A sign of inflationary pressure comes from the overall year-on-year rate, which clocked in at 4.6%. That’s the highest level in 5 years since February 2012.
Meanwhile, export prices rose 0.3% in February, matching the top estimate but slightly above the median forecast. Agricultural products fueled the gain largely, rising 1.4%. Still, broader inflation pressure centered on durable goods and price strength for exported capital goods was unexpected. Year-on-year, total export prices rose 8 tenths from January to 3.1%, the highest since December 2011.