C.P.I. for food and beverages rises 0.4% in April

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.6% in April, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. The April level of 206.7 was 2.6% higher than in April 2006. The index for food and beverages was 201.3 in April, up 0.4% from 200.8 in March.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased 0.4% in April, following up a 0.6% advance in March. Within the overall C.P.I., energy costs, which advanced 5.9% in March, rose 2.4% in April. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy rose 4.6%.

The index for food at home continued its upward climb, rising 0.5% to 199, reflecting upturns in the indexes for fruits and vegetables and for cereal and bakery products that were partially offset by smaller increases or downturns in the other four major grocery store food groups.

The C.P.I. for fruits and vegetables rose 0.4% in April, which followed on the heels of a 1.4% decline in March.

The indexes for fresh vegetables and for processed fruits and vegetables increased 1.6% and 0.6%, respectively, while the index for fresh fruits declined 0.9%, the B.L.S. said.

A month after falling 0.3%, the index for cereals and bakery products rebounded, gaining 0.9% to 220.5. Bread prices rose 2%, the B.L.S. said.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 193.7, up 0.9% from March. Prices for beef and poultry rose sharply for the second consecutive month — up 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively — while the indexes for pork and for other meats fell after registering large increases in March.

The indexes for dairy products and for other food at home each rose 0.5%, while the index for nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.8%, largely reflecting a decline in prices for carbonated beverages

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — increased 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, in April, B.L.S. said.

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