In September, consumer prices for food were unchanged overall for the third month in a row, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
Prices for food at home, however, continued to decline, while prices for food away from home maintained their upward trend.
Prices for food at home continued to decline, but at a slightly lower rate.
Even while the overall food index remained unchanged, the food at home index fell 0.1% in September, compared to decreases of 0.2% to 0.5% in the previous four months. The index for food away from home was up 0.2%, the same rate as last month and several months before.
Of the six major grocery store food group indexes, half declined and half increased.
- Nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.4%.
- Fruits and vegetables fell 0.3%.
- Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.2%.
- There was a 0.1% rise for cereals and bakery products, dairy and related products, and other food at home.
Overall food prices fell over the last year, with food at home seeing a substantial decline.
Over the last 12 months, the overall food index has declined by 0.3%.
- The food at home index has fallen by 2.2% over the past 12 months, the largest annual decline since December 2009.
- The food away from home index has gone up 2.4% since September 2015.
The food at home figure includes the following year-over-year trends, with all sectors showing a decline:
- Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: -6.3%
- Dairy and related products: -2.5%
- Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.9%
- Fruits and vegetables: -0.7%.
- Other food at home: -0.6%
- Cereals and bakery products: -0.5%
Alcohol prices were up for September, and also up over the last year.
The alcoholic beverages index—which is not included in the overall food index—rose by 0.3% in September.
- The indexes for alcoholic beverages at home and away from home each rose by 0.3%.
Over the past 12 months, the alcoholic beverage index has risen by 1.4%.
- The alcoholic beverages at home index has increased by 1.0%.
- The alcoholic beverages away from home index has increased by 2.0%.