CPI Data for May -- Healthy fruits -- bananas, pears, and apples at Bremen Farmer Agriculture Market in Germany

Food prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in May, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. In April, fresh veggies — specifically lettuce — were to blame for high food prices. In May, the cost of fresh fruits and veggie went down, but food prices at home and away from home inched up, resulting in an overall gain of 0.2%.

Here’s a closer look at what changed between April and May.

Food at home and food away from home increased

Prices for both food at home and away from home continued to rise in May.

Food at home

Overall, consumers spent more on food at home than they did in previous months, but the rate of increase declined. In May, consumers spent 0.1% more, following a 0.2% increase in April and 0.5% increase in March.

Of the 6 major grocery groups, four increased and two dropped last month:

  • Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials +1.1%
  • Cereals and bakery products +0.3%
  • Meats, poultry, and fish +0.3%
  • Dairy and related products +0.3%
  • Fruits and vegetables -0.6%
  • Other food at home -0.1%

Food away from home

The price of food away from home also increased. In May, consumers paid 0.2% more for food away from home, following a similar increase in both March and April.

Fresh fruits and veg prices went down

Following a price increase in April, fresh fruits and veggies became more affordable for consumers in May. The price of lettuce surged in April due to heavy rains in California. As expected, the price started to drop back down in May.

  • Following a 2.2% increase in April, the price of fresh fruits and vegetables dropped 0.6%
  • Lettuce fell 3.7%, bringing things on a more even keel after an 18% surge in April.

Source: Consumer Price Index — May 2017

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