C.P.I. for food and beverages up 0.3% in October

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages was 206.1 in October, up 0.3% from 205.5 in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. On an unadjusted basis, the index was up 4.4% from October 2006. Meanwhile, the index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2% in October, before seasonal adjustment. The October level of 208.9 was 3.5% higher than in October 2006.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased 0.3% in October, the same as in September. Within the overall C.P.I., energy costs advanced 1.4%. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy increased 1.5%, while the index for energy services rose 1.3%.

The index for food at home continued its upward climb, rising 0.2% to 204.3.

The gain in food at home was driven by a sharp increase in fruits and vegetables. The index for fruits and vegetables increased 0.7% in October, following a 1.8% gain in September. The index for fresh vegetables increased 2.3%, while the index for fresh fruits fell 0.4%. The index for processed fruits and vegetables increased 0.1%.

Dairy products, which rose 1.7% in August and 1% in September, climbed 0.2% to 204.4. Within dairy, milk prices were virtually unchanged, but year-to-date have risen 13.3%.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 198.5, up 0.2% from September. Beef and poultry prices each fell 0.7%, while the index for pork, other meats, and for fish and seafood each increased in October. The index for eggs fell 1.3% in October after rising 8.7% in September. Even so, the index for eggs was 42.2% higher than a year ago.

The index for cereal and bakery products rose 0.4% to 224.8, while other food at home fell 0.3% to 174.7.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.1%.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — increased 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively, in October, the B.L.S. said.

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