14 May 2003, 16:42  US april import prices post largest fall on record

WASHINGTON, May 14 - U.S. import prices posted their largest drop on record in April, dragged down by a sharp fall in petroleum costs, but also by falling prices in a wide range of other categories, the government said on Wednesday. Import prices sank 2.7 percent in April, the Labor Department said, far below analyst expectations for a drop of just 0.6 percent. The decline was the largest one month drop in the history of the report and followed an increase of 0.7 percent in March. Petroleum prices plunged 16.2 percent, the biggest drop since February 1991. But excluding petroleum, import prices still fell 0.9 percent.
Export prices were also down, declining 0.1 percent.//

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