Food-Price Jumps Push Price Indexes Higher In September

Strongly higher food prices at both the wholesale and consumer levels helped push both the Consumer Price and Producer Price Indexes higher in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.

After declines four of the past five months, wholesale food prices at the “finished” level jumped 1.2%. A 5.2% increase in meat prices accounted for two-thirds of the increase, though fresh and dry vegetable and young chicken prices also rose. Combined with a half-point increase in energy prices, the Producer Price Index as a whole rose 0.4% and is 4% higher than a year ago. Less food and energy the finished goods index rose only 0.1%.

At the consumer-price level, food prices rose 0.3%, the strongest gains in more than a year. Both components for food at home and food away from home also rose 0.3%, but still stand only 1.4% higher than a year ago. The overall index was up only 0.1% and the so-called “core” rate, less energy and food, was flat in September.   

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