C.P.I. for food and beverages up 0.3% in November

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages was 206.6 in November, up 0.3% from 206.1 in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. On an unadjusted basis, the index was up 4.7% from November 2006. Meanwhile, the index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.6% in November, before seasonal adjustment. The November level of 210.2 was 4.3% higher than in November 2006.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased 0.8% in November, its largest advance since a 1.2% increase in September 2005. Within the overall C.P.I., energy costs advanced 5.7%, accounting for approximately 70% of the overall C.P.I. increase. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy increased 9.5%, while the index for energy services rose 0.7%.

The index for food at home continued its upward climb, rising 0.3% to 204.8.

The gain in food at home was driven by a gain of 1.6% in the index for fruits and vegetables in November. The index for fresh vegetables and fresh fruits each increased 2.3%, while the index for processed fruits and vegetables decreased 0.9%.

Dairy products, which rose 0.2% in October, climbed 0.6% to 205.6. Within dairy, milk prices rose 1.2%. Since the beginning of the year, fresh milk prices have risen 23.2%, the B.L.S. said.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 198.2, down 0.1% from October. Beef prices increased 0.6%, but the indexes for eggs, poultry, pork, and fish and seafood all declined.

The index for cereal and bakery products rose 0.7% to 226.5, while other food at home fell 0.2% to 174.3.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.5%.

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

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