Food and beverage C.P.I. up 0.2% in January

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages increased 0.2% in January, climbing to 232.1 from 231.6 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The gain followed a similar advance of 0.2% in December.

The food index also rose 0.2% in January after rising 0.2% in December and 0.1% in November.

Leading the charge in the grocery category was the index for dairy and related products, which rose 0.9% to 220.5. The sharp gain followed a decline of 0.1% in December and 0.3% in November.

Also increasing during the month were the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which climbed 0.2% to 229.5, and the index for other food at home, which rose 0.5% to 203. The index for food away from home also was higher, rising 0.4% to 235.3, its sharpest increase since August 2011.

In contrast, the index for fruits and vegetables fell 1.3% to 279.7, its fourth consecutive decline, and the indexes for cereals and bakery products and nonalcoholic beverages also decreased. The cereals and bakery products index eased 0.1%, to 267, while the nonalcoholic beverages index fell 0.3% to 169.2.

The index for food at home was flat at 230.9.

After two of the past three months finished flat, the overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in January. The index now has increased 2.9% over the past 12 months.

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