Economic Indicators for Today: Export/Import Prices Rose; Initial Claims Drop

The U.S. Import Price Index rose 0.2 percent in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor data released today. The increase was led by a 0.7 percent advance in nonpetroleum prices, which more than offset a decline in the price index for petroleum. Excluding all fuels, import prices rose a modest 0.1 percent.

The index for overall imports increased 1.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Export prices increased 0.4 percent in November, following decreases in each of the two previous months. The index advanced 3.9 percent over the past 12 months.

Import prices from the European Union and from China were each unchanged in November. Prices for imports from the European Union increased 5.1 percent over the past year, while the price index for imports from China declined 1.3 percent over the same period.

Initial Jobless Claims:

In the week ending Dec. 9, initial jobless claims fell 20,000 to 304,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 324,000. The 4-week moving average was 327,250, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 328,750. 

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