April 12, 2007 9:00 AM, EDT

Import Prices Rise 1.7%

The price of goods imported to the United States rose 1.7% in March, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Excluding petroleum, import prices rose 0.3%, Labor said. Export prices rose 0.7% in March, following a 0.7% gain in February.

The import-price gain was the biggest in 10 months and followed a revised 0.1% increase the previous month.

The gain exceeded economists’ estimates of a 0.8% increase, Bloomberg reported.