Food prices are up for the fourth month in a row, according to the most recent CPI report. The overall price index jumped by 0.2% in December, following November’s 0.1% increase.

Food at home 

For December, the price index for food at home increased by 0.1%, the same amount as November.

Only one grocery store food group index rose last month — meats, poultry, fish, and eggs went up by 1.3%. This was thanks to a 2.4% increase in beef prices and a 2.9% increase in egg prices. Dairy and related products experienced no change in December, while the other four categories saw decreases: 

  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.4%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.4%
  • Fruits and vegetables: -0.3%
  • Other food at home: -0.3%

In a year’s time, the food at home price index has grown by 0.7%, during which prices increased for five out of the six grocery store food groups. Dairy and related products experienced the most growth (2.4%), while both cereals and bakery products and other food at home increased the least (0.3%). Only the price index for fruits and vegetables fell during the 12-month period (-1.3%).    

Food away from home

Prices for food away from home rose yet again, this time by 0.3%, following November’s 0.2% increase. Both limited and full service meals experienced price growth:

  • Limited service meals: +0.4%
  • Full service meals: +0.2%

The 12-month change for food away from home is now +3.1%. Full service meals grew by 3.3% and limited service meals grew by 3.0% for the period.

As we head into 2020, the USDA predicts that food prices will continue to either decrease or increase at lower-than-average rates.