Food and beverages index rises 0.4%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages again finished higher, rising 0.4% in April to 226.3 after climbing 0.7% in March and 0.5% in both February and January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

The food index rose 0.4% in April after rising 0.8% in March and 0.6% in February.

The sharpest gain was recorded in the dairy and related products index, which increased 1.7% to 209.7. That gain came on the heels of a 1.3% increase in March.

Also sharply higher was the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs, which rose 1.1% for the second straight month, finishing at 221.1.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages advanced 1.2% in April to 166.4, while the index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.1% to 255.8.

The index for food at home rose 0.5% to 224.4, while the index for food away from home rose 0.3% for the second consecutive month.

The food at home index, which rose 1.1% in March, advanced 0.5% in April. The B.L.S. attributed the deceleration to the fresh vegetables index, which fell 2.7% after posting large increases in each of the previous two months.

The fruits and vegetables index fell 1.1% in April to 286.7, making it the only major grocery store food group to decline in April.

The overall Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in April to 224.4, its second consecutive month of a 0.5% gain. With the gain, the index now has increased 3.2% over the past 12 months.

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