Prices paid by US importers fell 0.5 per cent in April, pushed lower by cheaper imported oil

WASHINGTON – Prices paid by U.S. importers fell in April for the second straight month, pushed lower by another decline in imported petroleum. Falling import prices help keep inflation in check.

The Labor Department says import prices fell 0.5 per cent last month compared with March, when prices had fallen 0.2 per cent. It was the largest decline since a 0.6 per cent drop in December. Imported petroleum products fell 1.9 per cent in April. Excluding petroleum, import costs fell only 0.1 per cent.

Import prices have fallen 2.6 per cent over the 12 months ending in April.

The prices charged by U.S. exporters fell 0.7 per cent in April compared with March. The decline was propelled by a 2.2 per cent drop in U.S. farm exports. In the past year, export prices have fallen 0.9 per cent.