Retail price of white pan bread, whole wheat bread remain strong

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The average price paid for white pan bread held strong during December while the whole wheat bread average price again scored a record high, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The national average retail price of white pan bread eased 0.6c per lb after moving up 4.6c to a record high of 114.3c the previous month, according to the B.L.S. Meanwhile, whole wheat bread rose 2.6c per lb on a month-to-month basis.

The December price for white pan bread of 113.7c per lb increased 9.1c compared with December 2005. At 113.7c, the white pan bread price was the second-highest monthly average on record, narrowly trailing the November 2006 price. While the average price in the Northeast, Midwest and West eased during December, a record average monthly price of 104.8c per lb was scored in the South.

Also achieving a record high during December was the national average price for whole wheat bread, which jumped to 162c per lb. That total was up 33.3c from the same month a year ago and marked the first time the price ever has exceeded 160c per lb since the B.L.S. began tracking data.

The national average price of family flour in December was 31.8c per lb, up 0.1c from November and up 1.5c from December 2005.

The national average price for spaghetti and macaroni in December was 88.7c per lb, up 1.9c from November and up 1.7c from December 2005.

Other national average retail prices in December included: chocolate chip cookies, 291.3c per lb, up 6.2c from November and up 8.1c from December 2005, and white long-grain rice, 55.5c per lb, unchanged from November but up 3.1c from a year earlier.

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