Import prices rise in April for first monthly gain this year

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The numbers: The cost of U.S. imported goods rose 0.4% in April, the Labor Department said Friday. This was the first increase this year.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.3% gain.

Over the past 12 months, the costs of imports has dropped 4.8%. That followed a 12.5% gain in the prior year.

Key details: The cost of imported fuel rose 4.5% in April after a 3.9% drop in the prior month. This was the first increase since last June.

The cost of imports excluding fuel were flat in April after a 0.5% decline in the prior month. Over the past year, nonfuel import prices are down 1.9%.

Exports prices rose 0.2% in April. They are down 5.9% over the past year.

Big picture: The stronger dollar last year dampened import prices and was a source of disinflation, but with the dollar softer this year, prices are firming.

Market reaction: Stocks
DJIA,
+0.18%

SPX,
+0.20%

were expected to open higher on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.388%

rose to 3.41%.

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