White pan and whole wheat bread prices fall

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The average price paid for white pan bread fell 1.5c per lb in April, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The decline comes on the heels of gains of 0.6c in March and 2.3c in February. The price of whole wheat bread, meanwhile, fell for the third straight month, easing 2.9c per lb after falling 2.7c per lb in March. The last time the price of whole wheat bread lost ground in three consecutive months was March-May 2003.

The national average retail price of white pan bread was 139.5c, according to the B.L.S. The April price for white pan bread increased 2.2c compared with April 2008. On a month-to-month basis, the average price for white pan bread rose in one region — up 4.7c in the Northeast — and fell in three, easing 7.3c in the West, 1.8c in the Midwest and 1.5c in the South.

At 191.4c per lb, the national average price for whole wheat bread was down 0.6c per lb from April 2008, the first time the comparable year-over-year price has been lower in the category since August 2006. At 191.4c per lb, the national average price for whole wheat bread was at its lowest mark since it was 187.3c per lb in March 2008.

The national average price of family flour in April was 48.5c per lb, down 1.8c from March and down 3.3c from April 2008.

The national average price for spaghetti and macaroni in April was 112.2c per lb, down 1.7c from March but up 0.4c from April 2008. Chocolate chip cookies were 313.5c per lb, up 7.9c from March and up 35.5c from April 2008.

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