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Dec. 13, 2018, 8:30 a.m. EST

U.S. import prices fall 1.6% in November, biggest drop in 3 years

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By Jeffry Bartash

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The cost of imports fell 1.6% in November, becoming the latest inflation gauge to recede from recent highs largely due to lower oil prices. It was the biggest decline in the import price index in more than three years. Oil prices sank 12%. Even if fuel is excluded, however, import prices slipped 0.3% last month. The cost of imported food and industrial supplies also declined, the government said Thursday. The increase in import prices over the past 12 months fell to 0.7% from 3.3%, the smallest advance since 2016. If fuel is omitted, the increase in import prices over the past year was a meager 0.3%. A strong dollar is also helping to reduce the cost of foreign goods. U.S. export prices, meanwhile, declined by 0.9% in November.

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