C.P.I. for food and beverages up 0.7% in January

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages was 208.3 in January, up 0.7% from 206.9 in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor said. The gain marked the largest month-over-month gain since February 2007. Meanwhile, the index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.5% in January, before seasonal adjustment. The January level of 211.1 was 4.3% higher than in January 2007.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. increased 0.4% in January. Within the overall C.P.I., energy costs advanced 0.7%.

The index for food at home rose 0.9% to 206.9.

The gain in food at home was driven by a gain of 2.2% in the index for fruits and vegetables in January. This gain came on the heels of a 0.3% decline in December. The index for fresh vegetables and fresh fruits rose 3.3% and 1.8%, respectively, while the index for processed fruits and vegetables increased 0.7%.

Dairy products, which fell 0.2% in December, climbed 0.2% in January to 205.7. Within dairy, cheese prices rose 2.1%, which more than offset a small decline in milk prices, the B.L.S. said.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 199.7, up 0.8% from December. Beef prices were virtually unchanged, while prices for poultry, fish and seafood, pork and other meats all increased.

The index for cereal and bakery products rose 0.6% to 229.2, while other food at home climbed 0.4% to 176.2.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 1.6%, reflecting increases in prices for carbonated drinks and for coffee.

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

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