WASHINGTON - Prices of goods imported into the United States dropped in June for the first time in a year as oil and food expenses retreated.
The 0.5 percent fall in the import-price index followed a revised 0.1 percent gain in May, Labor Department figures showed yesterday. Prices excluding petroleum fell 0.2 percent, the first decline since July 2010.
Falling costs will benefit companies that are dealing with more expensive inputs eating into margins. Yesterday’s report supports Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s forecast that elevated commodity costs will moderate as supply constraints wane.