Consumer Price Index rises 0.3% in May

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index climbed 0.3% in May to 213.9, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the index for food and beverages declined 0.2%, falling to 217.9 from 218.4. The decline in the food and beverage index marked the sixth consecutive period of month-over-month declines.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased in May after finishing unchanged in April. The energy index, which fell 2.4% in May and 3% in April, advanced, rising 0.2% as an increase in the gasoline index more than offset declines in other energy indexes.

Within the index for food at home, the decline was broad, with the indexes for all six major grocery store food groups decreasing.

The sharpest decline occurred in the fruits and vegetables index, which fell 1% to 273.

The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs, which was unchanged in April, fell 0.9% in May to 204.7. The sharp decline largely was attributed to a drop of 6.5% in the eggs index during the month.

The index for dairy and related products, which had posted the largest decline for several months running, eased 0.5% to 196.1. The index fell 1.3% in April and 2.4% in March. Over the past 12 months the index has declined 5.6%, according to the B.L.S.

Cereal and bakery products eased 0.2% to 251.6, while food at home eased 0.5% to 214.9.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages and other food at home each fell 0.1%.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — rose 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively, the B.L.S. said.

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