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Import prices fall for second straight month

Imported cars line a parking lot at a shipping terminal in Portland, Oregon February 16, 2006. REUTERS/Richard Clement
Imported cars line a parking lot at a shipping terminal in Portland, Oregon February 16, 2006. REUTERS/Richard Clement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. import prices fell for a second straight month in November as the cost of petroleum and food dropped, suggesting imported inflation pressures remained subdued.

Import prices fell 0.6 percent last month after a revised 0.6 percent drop in October, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Import prices had previously been reported to have declined 0.7 percent in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices would fall 0.6 percent in November. In the 12 months through November, import prices fell 1.5 percent.

Import prices excluding petroleum nudged up 0.1 percent in November after rising by the same margin in October. Compared to November last year, they were down 1.2 percent.

The general lack of inflation pressures is a wild card in the Fed's decisions on its monetary stimulus.

The Labor Department report also showed export prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November after falling 0.6 percent in October.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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