The numbers: Import prices fell 0.2% in October, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. This is the fourth straight sharp decline.
Economists surveyed by the Wall Street were expecting a 0.4% decline.
Excluding fuel, import prices were down 0.1% last month, the government said.
In the 12 months through October, import prices increased 4.2%, the smallest rise since February 2021.
Key details: Import fuel prices fell 1.3% in October, after dropping 20.8% over the previous three months.
Consumer goods prices fell 0.4% after a 0.1% decline in the prior month.
Auto prices rose 0.6%, the largest gain since January.
Big picture: Earlier data showed consumer and producer prices increased at a slower pace than expected in October. Economists say slowing inflation gives the Federal Reserve the green light to step down the pace of interest rate hikes to half percentage point increases in rates next month after four straight 75-basis point moves.
Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said Tuesday there were “glimmers of hope” that inflation pressures were easing. He noted that goods prices have slowed in the last three months.
Market reaction: Stocks
were set to open lower on Wednesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 3.79%.