Food and beverage C.P.I. rises 0.1% in March

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages increased 0.1% in March, climbing to 232.5 from 232.2 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
The food index increased 0.2% in March after finishing flat in February.

Two of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose during March, including meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which increased 0.8% to 230.9.

Also advancing during the month was the index for other food at home, which rose 0.3% to 204.4.
The sharpest decline during March was in the index for fruits and vegetables. The index fell 0.4% to 277.3, and it included a decline of 1.6% in the index for fresh vegetables. The fruits and vegetables index fell 0.5% in February and 1.3% in January.

The index for cereals and bakery products, and for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, each fell 0.2% during March, while the index for dairy and related products eased 0.1%.

The food at home index moved up 0.1% after two consecutive months of finishing unchanged.

The overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% in March, which followed a gain of 0.4% in February. The index now has increased 2.7% over the past 12 months.

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