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According to the most recent CPI report, the overall food price index fell 0.4% in July, marking the first decrease since April 2019. This drop follows June’s 0.6% increase and several months of significant price growth. 

Food at home 

Though food at home prices rose by 0.7% in June, they were down by 1.1% in July. The most notable decrease was in the meat, poultry, fish, and eggs food group, which dropped by 3.8%. Beef prices fell 8.2%, following a record increase of 10.8% in May and a 4.8% increase in June.  

Prices for all but one of the major grocery store food groups declined last month:

  • Fruits and vegetables: +0.1% (+0.4% in June)
  • Other food at home: -0.2% (+0.2 in June)
  • Cereals and bakery products: -0.4% (+0.4% in June)
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: -0.5% (+0.7% in June)
  • Dairy and related products: -0.8% (-0.4% in June)

The 12-month index change for food at home is now +4.6%. All of the major grocery store groups experienced price increases during that time frame. Prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs led the way with an 8.4% increase (14.2% increase in beef prices). The other categories saw price increases ranging from 2.3% (fruits and vegetables) to 5.0% (nonalcoholic beverages).

According to the latest USDA forecast, overall food at home prices will increase between 2.5% and 3.5% this year, the largest increase since 2011.

Food away from home

For food away from home, prices rose by 0.5% in July, the same increase as in June. This jump reflects growth in both limited and full service meals: 

  • Limited service meals: +0.6% (+0.5% in June)
  • Full service meals: +0.4% (+0.9% in June)

Over the last 12 months, the overall food away from home index went up by 3.4%. Prices for  limited service meals climbed +4.5% during that period, while full service meals reached +2.9%.

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