U.S. Import Prices Decline on Falling Petroleum Prices

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U.S. Import Prices Decline on Falling Petroleum PricesU.S. import prices dropped for the third consecutive month in September after petroleum costs fell while the strengthening dollar made goods from the European Union cheaper.

The Labor Department announced today that import prices dropped 0.5 percent in September. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected the import prices to drop 0.7 percent. Export prices plunged 0.2 percent over the period.

The prices of imports from the EU declined 0.9 percent, the most since December 2012. The euro has dropped against the dollar this year after the European Central Bank boosted stimulus in a bid to reinvigorate economic growth in the euro-area.

The price of imported oil destined for the United States depreciated 2 percent last month. Weak import prices have been attributed for pushing U.S. inflation lower, leading the Federal Reserve to hold hiking borrowing costs.

Meanwhile, the Canada’s economy absorbed 74,000 workers in September, reducing the unemployment rate to its lowest level since December 2008. The jobless rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

Much of the hiring occurred in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Ontario, Labrador, Newfoundland and Alberta. A large proportion of the new jobs, at least 69,000, were full-time roles. Most of the jobs were created in the food and accommodation services, construction, health care and natural resources sectors.

Last month’s job gains were the strongest in 2014, though analysts are worried that the global economic slowdown may weigh on Canada’s economic growth.

“As a stand-alone report, this is no doubt highly impressive, but given the rising turmoil in the rest of the world, not to mention growing questions over the reliability of the jobs data, these results may not have much lasting impact,” Doug Porter, an economist at Bank of Montreal, told CBC News. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com