C.P.I. for food and beverages climbs 0.7% in January

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.3% in January, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. The January level of 202.4 was 2.1% higher than in January 2006.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased 0.2% in January, following up a 0.5% advance in December. Within the overall C.P.I., energy costs, which increased 4.2% in December, fell 1.5% in January. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy eased 3.1% while the index for energy services increased 0.5%.

The index for food and beverages was 198.6 in January, up 0.7% from 197.3 in December. The index for food at home also rose, climbing 0.9% to 195.6.

A month after taking a sharp fall, the C.P.I. for fruits and vegetables registered the largest gain among grocery store food products, rising 1.3% to 255.5. The indexes for fresh fruits and fresh vegetables increased 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively, while the index for processed fruits and vegetables decreased 0.3%, the B.L.S. said.

The indexes for nonalcoholic beverages and other food at home, each of which declined 0.2% in December, increased 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively, in January.

The index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.3% to 216.6, the same month-over-month increase as December and November.

The index for dairy products rose 1.3% in January, following a 0.1% rise in December, reflecting sharp price gains for milk, cheese and ice cream.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 189.5, up 0.8% from December. The gain reflected increases in the indexes for other meats and for fish and seafood — up 2.7% and 1.4%, respectively. The indexes for beef and for pork each increased 0.3%, while poultry prices fell 0.4%, the B.L.S. noted.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — increased 0.5% and 0.9%, respectively, in January, B.L.S. said.

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