C.P.I. for all food at home down for third straight month

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages rose 0.1% in February from the previous month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The index for all food at home, meanwhile, fell 0.2%, its third consecutive month of declines, as four of the six major grocery store food groups registered declines in February.

The February index for food and beverages was 189.2, up from 189.1 in January.

Within the food and beverage category, the index for dairy products, which in January posted its first monthly increase in six months, once again fell back, declining 0.8% in February to 181.6. Prices for fresh whole milk, cheese and ice cream each declined.

The February index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs was 184, up 0.3% from January, as gains in pork and beef partially were offset by a decrease in poultry, fish and seafood. The February index for eggs was 145.7, up from 141.4 in January but well off from 185.6 in February 2004.

The February index for other food at home was 165.1, down 0.2% from January. Within the other food at home category, sugar and sweets moved up to 163.3 from 162.5, while fats and oils fell back to 168.8 from 170.3.

The February index for nonalcoholic beverages, at 141.5, declined 0.1%, while the index for cereal and bakery products, at 208.2, increased 0.1%, from a month ago.

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