December 11, 2008 / 1:41 PM / 11 years ago

US import prices see biggest monthly drop in Nov

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - U.S import prices saw their largest monthly decline on record in November as the costs for imported oil and non-petroleum products tumbled, the Department of Labor said on Thursday, highlighting the deteriorating economic envrionment.

Import prices plunged 6.7 percent, the largest monthly decline since records began in 1988, after falling by a revised 5.4 percent in October. For the 12 months through November import prices were down 4.4 percent.

Petroleum prices dived 25.8 percent, also the biggest monthly decline since records started in 1988, after dropping by a revised 19.8 percent the previous month. Non-petroleum import prices fell 1.8 percent, also the largest monthly drop since 1988, the Department of Labor said.

Prices for U.S. exports fell 3.2 percent in November, also recording the biggest monthly decline since 1988. Export prices declined 2.0 percent in October.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast import prices dropping 4.9 percent and export prices falling 1.5 percent in November.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Walker Simon

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