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U.S import prices surge again, but this time it’s not oil

The price of imports rose in February for the third month in a row, and in a potentially worrisome sign, the increase spread beyond oil into other industrial and consumer goods. The import price index rose 0.2% in February following even bigger increases in the prior two months, the government reported Thursday. Yet unlike in January and December, the increase in import-related inflation last month was not tied mainly to higher oil prices. Indeed, the cost of petroleum imports actually fell 0.7% in February. Instead, the increase in import prices last month was mostly due to higher costs of industrial supplies and materials as well consumer goods such as food and clothing. Import prices minus fuel jumped 0.3% last month, marking the biggest advance since last summer. Over the past year, import prices have climbed 4.6%, registering the biggest 12-month gain since early 2012

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