Consumer Price Index falls 0.2% in May

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index fell 0.2% to 217.2 in May, but remains up 2% over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The index for food and beverages, which had risen 0.2% in each of the past two months, finished flat at 219.7.

For the second month in a row, the index for energy fell, easing 2.9% in May after falling 1.4% in April. Within the energy index, the gasoline index accounted for most of the decrease, although all the major energy indexes declined, according to the B.L.S.

Within the food index the meats, poultry, fish and eggs index was again the big mover, advancing 0.4% after rising 1.4% in April. The gain reflected increases in the beef and pork indexes, the B.L.S. said.

The index for other food at home advanced 0.3% in May to 191.3.

The indexes for cereals and bakery products and for dairy and related products both increased 0.2% in May. The gain ended two straight months of declines in the cereals and bakery products index.

The fruits and vegetables index, which rose 3.4% in March then fell 0.2% in April, again finished lower, easing 1.1% to 278.1.

Nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.8% to 161.2, which comes on the heels of an increase of 0.4% in April.
Food at home finished unchanged at 216.

For the past 12 months the food index has risen 0.7%, with the index for food at home up 0.3% and the index for food away from home up 1.1%.

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