The cost of imported goods fell in August for the first time in 10 months, perhaps another sign that inflation is starting to cool after a big runup earlier this year.
The import price index dropped 0.3% last month, the government said Wednesday. The decline mostly stemmed from the lower cost of foreign oil and industrial supplies.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.3% increase.
The cost of foreign-produced fuel slid 2.3% last month and accounted for most of the decline in import prices. Excluding fuel, import prices fell a smaller 0.1% last month.
Import prices have risen 9% in the past year, but the increase has slowed for three months in a row.
U.S. export prices, on the other hand, rose 0.4% in August.