WASHINGTON (CN) - The price of imports grew faster in 2009 than the price of American exports, but the trend was stalled in December as a result of falling gas prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Thursday.
The price of imports rose by more than eight percent last year, shadowing the more than three percent increase in prices of American exports.
In December, average prices for imported goods remained the same because a 1.4 percent drop in fuel prices countered the increasing price of other imported goods.
Last year's increase in the price of imports is a turnaround from 2008, when prices fell by more than 10 percent. 2008 represented the largest price drop since such records were kept in 1982.
The change is attributed to the volume of fuel the United States imports, and to fuel's heavy fluctuation in cost. Fuel price fluctuations drove both the import price decline in 2008 and the price growth in 2009, the bureau said.
Despite the December drop, fuel prices spiked by more than 61 percent in 2009 after a 47 percent decline in 2008.