February 14, 2003
The U.S. Import Price Index increased 1.5 percent in January, after rising 0.6 percent in December. The increase was primarily attributable to a continued rise in petroleum prices.
The 1.5-percent increase in overall import prices last month was the largest advance since the index rose 1.6 percent in April 2002. Over the past 12 months, the index increased 5.5 percent.
Prices for imported petroleum rose 12.4 percent in January after a 6.2-percent increase in December. Petroleum prices jumped 68.6 percent from January 2002 to January 2003, and are at the highest level since November 2000. The price index for nonpetroleum imports was up 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month in January, and 0.6 percent over the past year.
In January, the Export Price Index increased 0.4 percent after declining 0.2 percent in December.