C.P.I. for baked foods, cereals again rises 0.1%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products rose 0.1% in March — its second consecutive month of such an increase, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, fell 0.1% for the second straight month.

Of the 18 items followed by Milling & Baking News, 11 posted month-over-month gains and 7 finished lower.

The March index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 269.5% of the 1982-84 average, up 0.9% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 233.8, up 1% from March 2012.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in March was 231.3, down 0.7% from February and down 0.6% from March 2012. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 251.6, down 1.1% from February and down 0.2% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 226.1, down 0.8% from the previous month and down 0.8% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 238.5, down 0.3% from February and down 0.2% from March 2012.

The price index for bakery products in March was 291, up 0.5% from February and up 1.8% from March 2012.

The March index for bread was 176.5, up 0.2% from February and up 2% from March 2012. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 322, up 1.1% from February and up 2.7% from March 2012. For bread other than white, the index was 340.9, down 1.3% from February but up 2% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 171.3, up 0.9% from February and up 1.7% from March 2012. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 270, up 1% from February and up 1.8% from March 2012. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 279.1, up 0.3% from February and up 0.5% from March 2012; and cookies, 262.6, up 1.9% from the previous month and up 3.3% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in March was 263.3, up 0.4% from February and up 1.6% from March 2012. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 289.9, up 1.1% from February and up 5% from March 2012; crackers and cracker products, 300.7, up 0.8% from February and up 3% from March 2012; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 270.4, down 0.1% from February but up 1% from the previous year.
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