Food and beverages index again climbs 0.4%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages rose 0.4% for the second consecutive month, climbing to 227.1 in May after finishing at 226.3 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

The food index also rose 0.4% in May after rising 0.4% in April and 0.8% in March.

The meats, poultry, fish and eggs index, which increased 1.1% in each of the past two months, again was sharply higher, rising 1.5% to 211.3.

Also sharply higher was the index for cereals and bakery products, which rose 1% in May. The index gained 0.1% in April and 0.5% in March.

Dairy and related products, which was the category’s biggest mover in April when it gained 1.7%, again finished higher, rising 0.8% to 224.4.

The index for food at home rose 0.5% to 225.4, while the index for food away from home rose 0.2% to 230.5. The index for nonalcoholic beverages was flat at 166.3.

For the second consecutive month, the fruits and vegetables index was the only major grocery store food group to decline in May. The index fell 1.3% in May after easing 1.1% in April. The B.L.S. attributed the decline to a sharp drop in the index for tomatoes.

The overall Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in May to 224.8. With the gain, the index now has increased 3.6% over the past 12 months.

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