Wednesday morning, the Labor Department released its report on import and export prices in the month of April, showing that import prices rose at the fastest pace in ten months amid a substantial increase in petroleum import prices.

The report showed that import prices jumped 1.6 percent in April following a much more modest 0.2 percent increase in March. The increase in import prices marked the fastest pace of growth since a 3.0 percent increase in June of 2008.

The notable increase was largely due to a 15.4 percent increase in prices of petroleum imports, which followed a 7.9 percent increase in March.

Excluding the increase in petroleum import prices, import prices actually fell 0.4 percent in April compared to a 0.9 percent decrease in the previous month. This marked the ninth consecutive monthly decrease in non-petroleum import prices.

Additionally, the report showed that export prices rose 0.5 percent in April after falling 0.7 percent in March. The increase was partly due to a 3.6 percent increase in prices of agricultural exports, although prices still rose 0.3 percent excluding agricultural exports.

On an annual basis, import prices were down 16.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago, while export prices were down 6.8 percent year-over-year.

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