11 January 2001, 16:34  US Dec Import Prices -0.5%, on expected oil dip (-9.3%)

US Dec Import Prices -0.5%, on expected oil dip (-9.3%). But ex-oil surged 0.9%, largest increase since 1988, when index went monthly. Most of record rise centered in non-durable industrial supplies, which rose +8.0%. Indust supps ex-oil rise of 4.1% biggest since Sept 92. Strong imports from Canada +2.0% and Asia NICS +0.5% also factor, as they comprise about 30% of total. Ex-oil imports up only +1.4% in 2000 vs flat in 1999. Total imports +3.5% in '00 vs +7.1% in '99. Dec exports -0.1%. Also notable: 2000 oil imports +18.8% vs whopping 136.8% in '99.

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