Consumer Price Index eases 0.2% in July

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index fell 0.2% in July to 215.4, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. Over the past 12 months the index now has fallen 2.1%. The index for food and beverages, which rose 0.1% in June after seven months of declines, fell 0.2% to 217.6 from 218.1.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. was unchanged after an increase of 0.7% in June. The energy index followed up a 7.4% gain in June by falling 0.4% in July. Decreases in the indexes for gasoline, fuel oil, and electricity more than offset an increase in the index for natural gas, the B.L.S. said.

The food index declined 0.3% to 217.3 as all six major grocery store food groups posted declines.

The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs posted the sharpest decline, falling 1.3% to 201.7.

The second steepest decline was in the dairy and related products index, which fell 0.6% to 193.1. The index now has fallen eight consecutive months.

The index for fruits and vegetables, which in June posted the largest increase at 1.1%, fell 0.3% in July to 275.4.

Also falling 0.3% in July were the indexes for nonalcoholic beverages and other food at home. The food at home index has declined 2.6% from its peak in November 2008, the B.L.S. said.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — rose 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively, the B.L.S. said.

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