Consumer Price Index climbs 0.4% in August

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in August to 215.8, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. Despite the gain, over the past 12 months the index now has fallen 1.5%. The index for food and beverages, which eased 0.2% in July, rebounded, advancing 0.1% to 217.8 from 217.6.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. was up 0.4% after holding unchanged in July. The energy index, which fell 0.4% in July, rose 4.6% in August behind a 9.1% gain in the gasoline index. Despite the gain in gasoline, the index has fallen 30% over the past 12 months, the B.L.S. said.

The food index rose 0.1% in August after declining 0.3% in July. Three of the six major grocery store food groups posted declines while three posted gains.

The biggest gainers were the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, and the index for nonalcoholic beverages, both of which moved up 0.4%.

Also moving up was other food at home, which rose 0.2% to 190.5.

The steepest decline was in the index for fruits and vegetables, which fell 0.7% in August on top of a 0.3% decline in July.

The dairy and related products index, which fell 0.6% in July, eased 0.4% in August to 192.4. The index now has fallen nine consecutive months.

The index for cereals and bakery products eased 0.1% in August to 251.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — each rose 0.1%, the B.L.S. said.

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