April 12, 2002
The U.S. Import Price Index increased 1.1 percent in March 2002. The increase, the largest since September 2000, was attributable to a large jump in petroleum prices.
The upturn in overall import prices in March followed a 0.1-percent dip in February and a 0.4-percent rise in January. The index had decreased for seven consecutive months prior to January and in March was down 5.7 percent below its level a year ago.
The March increase in overall import prices was led by rising petroleum prices, which rose 15.7 percent after gaining 3.0 percent in February and 5.5 percent in January. The March increase was the largest posted for the petroleum index in almost three years. Despite the recent increases, petroleum prices fell 13.6 percent over the March 2001-2002 period.
In contrast to the surge in the petroleum index, the index for nonpetroleum imports was unchanged in March after declining 0.4 percent in February. The nonpetroleum index has not increased in 14 months and fell 4.2 percent for the year ended in March.
These data are a product of the BLS International Price program. Learn more in "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes - March 2002," news release USDL 02-211. Note: import price data are subject to revision in each of the three months after original publication.