Wholesale Food Prices Flat, But Menu Prices Maintain Upswing

Wholesale food prices, which had fallen six of the past seven months, were flat in April, according to Producer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the 12 months ending April, wholesale prices were 2.5% below their year-earlier levels, the 14th consecutive month prices have been lower than the year before.

Among the commodities, beef and veal prices rose 4.5% in April, their third increase in the past four months. Still, prices for beef are 15.2% below a year ago. Pork prices fell 1.5% in April and egg prices plummeted 34.6% and are running more than 40% below a year ago.

Meanwhile, restaurateurs continued to raise menu prices, according to Consumer Price Index data. Menu prices rose 0.2% in April and are a running 2.7% ahead of a year ago. Grocery store prices rose 0.1%, the second gain in the past three months. Still grocery store food prices are off 0.3% versus a year ago.

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