This August, consumer prices for food remained steady for the second month in a row, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

However, there were significant differences among certain food sectors, as detailed below.

Prices continued to decline for food at home, and rise for food away from home.

Though the overall food index was steady, the food at home index fell 0.2% in August, the same rate of decline as last month. Also similar to last month, the index for food away from home was up 0.2%.

None of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased.

  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.4%.
  • Other food at home fell 0.2%.
  • Nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.1%.
  • There was no change for dairy and related products, cereals and bakery products, and fruits and vegetables.

Overall food prices showed no change over the past 12 months, but some sectors are seeing significant declines.

Over the past 12 months, the overall food index was unchanged. This marks the first time the index did not rise over an annual period since the 12 months ending February 2010.

The food at home index declined by 1.9% over the past 12 months, while the food away from home index was up 2.8%.

The food at home figure includes the following year-over-year trends, with only fruits and vegetables showing an annual increase:

  • Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: -6.5%
  • Dairy and related products: -2.4%
  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.7%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.6%
  • Other food at home: -0.1%
  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.3%.

Alcohol prices were unchanged compared to July, but up over the past 12 months.

The alcoholic beverages index—which is not included in the overall food index—remained steady in August compared to July.

  • The alcoholic beverages at home index fell 0.1%.
  • The alcoholic beverages away from home index rose 0.1%.

Over the past 12 months, the alcoholic beverage index rose 1.1%.

  • The alcoholic beverages at home index increased by 0.7%.
  • The alcoholic beverages away from home index increased by 1.8%.


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