US import prices increased by 1.3pc and export prices were up 1.6pc in February compared to 1.4pc and 2.5pc, respectively, in the prior month, according to the US Department of Labor.
The rise in import prices last month was higher than the department’s forecast of 1.2pc excluding tariffs, as commodity prices were boosted by disruptions to the supply chain during the month. Excluding food and fuel import prices, which rose 1.6pc and 11.1pc in February from the prior month, prices of imports into the US increased by 0.3pc. Prices for imported capital goods along with imported motor vehicles and consumer goods climbed by 0.1pc.
On an annual basis, the department indicated a 3pc rise in import prices, the largest gain since March 2012. In February, non-agricultural export prices rose by 1.5pc while agricultural exports increased by 2.9pc compared to January.
Contrary to US import prices, US production dropped by 2.2pc in February driven by winter storms, according to the US Federal Reserve. Without the storm, manufacturing would have been closer to a 0.5pc decline.
In February, manufacturing production declined by 3.1pc and mining fell by 5.4pc, according to the Federal Reserve. Total production ran 4.2pc in February 2021 compared to the same year-ago month. The storm affected ongoing production and in the case of some facilities, the deep freeze injured the infrastructure that caused additional weeks of an outage.