The cost of imported goods rose sharply again in June for the seventh month in a row and added to the upward pressure on U.S. inflation.
The import price index jumped 1% last month, the government said Thursday, matching the estimate of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
Import prices have climbed 11.2% over the past 12 months, down a bit from 11.6% in May. The yearly increase in May was the fastest since 2011.
These increases are feeding into biggest burst of inflation in the U.S. in 13 years. Consumer prices have surged 5.4% in the past 12 months, outpacing the growth in wages and pinching household budgets.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admitted on Wednesday that inflation has risen faster than the central bank expected, but he repeated his longstanding belief that prices will subside by next year as the economy returns closer to normal.
The Fed has blamed the spike in prices on the reopening of the economy and ensuing flood of pentup demand at a time when global supply lines are still being disrupted by the pandemic. Businesses can’t get enough supplies on time or at reasonable prices.
The increase in import prices in June was strongest among oil and other fossil fuels, but the cost of most industrial and consumer goods rose. Hardly any prices fell.
Excluding fuel, import prices 0.7% last month.
U.S. export prices increased 1.2% in June.