C.P.I. for food and beverages rises 0.6%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages was 216.8 in August, up 0.6% from 215.5 in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. The gain followed a 0.9% advance in July and 0.7% gain in June. Meanwhile, the index for All Urban Consumers fell 0.4% in August, before seasonal adjustment. The August level of 219.1 was 5.4% higher than in August 2007.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. declined 0.1% in August, which followed a 0.8% increase in July. For the first time in three months, the energy index declined, falling 3.1% in August. The gasoline index fell by 4.2% in August, but remains 35.6% higher than in August 2007. The index for household energy fell 1.6% in August after rising 3.8% in July.

The index for food at home, which rose 1.2% in July, increased 0.8% in August to 217.9. The index was 7.5% higher than in August 2007.

Four of the six grocery store food groups rose less in August than they did in July.

The sharpest downturn took place in the index for cereal and bakery products, which followed up a 1.8% gain in July by falling 0.1% in August to 249.

A smaller increase was noted in the index for dairy and related products, which rose only 0.4% in August after a 1.6% gain in July.

For the second month in a row, the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs moved up 1%, climbing to 207.5.

More rapid movement occurred in the index for fruits and vegetables, which rose 2.1% to 291.5.

Other food at home climbed 0.7% to 186.2.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages, which rose 0.7% in July, moved up 0.4% in August.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — increased 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, the B.L.S. said.

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