C.P.I. for baked foods, cereals posts fifth straight year of gains

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products posted its fifth consecutive year of year-over-year gains in 2015, rising 1.1%, which followed gains of 0.2% in 2014, 1% in 2013, 2.8% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2011. The index fell 0.8% in 2010, but previously had scored gains of 4.4%, 10.2% and 3.2% in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Overall, 16 of the 18 categories followed by Milling & Baking News finished higher for the year, while only 2 — flour and prepared flour mixes and frozen and refrigerated bakery products — finished lower.

The price index for Bakery Products rose 1.4% in 2015, which compared with increases of 0.4% in 2014, 1.7% in 2013, 3.1% in 2012 and 3.7% in 2011 and a loss of 0.4% in 2010. Two segments within this category — bread and fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins — were introduced in 1998 with a base of December 1997. All other products are based on a 1982-84 average.

In the bread segment, the index increased 1.3% in 2015 after falling 0.2% in 2014. The index rose 1.9% during 2013, 2.8% in 2012 and 5.6% in 2011. Within the segment, white bread increased 1.2% in 2015 after falling 0.6% in 2014. The index rose 2% in 2013, 2.8% in 2012 and 5.1% in 2011. Bread other than white also rebounded, increasing 0.8% in 2015 after decreasing 0.1% in 2014. The index increased 2.3% in 2013, 2.4% in 2012 and 7.1% in 2011. The index had declined 1.4% in 2010.

The index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies rose 1.9% after climbing 0.9% in 2014, 1.8% in 2013 and 4% in 2012. The index was up 1.7% in 2011 and 0.4% in 2010.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products rose 0.6% in 2015. This compared with gains of 0.5% in 2014, 1.2% in 2013, 2.9% in 2012, 2.4% in 2011 and 0.5% in 2010. In the other bakery products segment, fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts rose 1.2%; crackers and other cracker products increased 0.6%; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers fell 0.4%.

The C.P.I. for Cereals and Cereal Products increased 0.5% after rising 0.1% in 2014. This compared with a loss of 0.1 in 2013 and gains of 2.5% in 2012 and 4.4% in 2011. Flour and prepared mixes again moved lower in 2015, easing 1.5% after falling 1.2% in 2014 and 0.1% in 2013. This followed impressive year-over-year gains of 5.3% in 2012 and 7.3% in 2011. Breakfast cereal increased 0.4% after a gain of 0.5% in 2014; and rice, pasta and corn meal was up 1.5% after falling 0.5% in 2014.

On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products was softer, falling 0.2% in December.

The December index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 273.2% of the 1982-84 average. For all food at home, the December index was 241.4, down 0.3% from November.

The C.P.I. for Cereals and Cereal Products in December was 232.2, up 0.2% from November. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 233.3, up 0.3% from November; breakfast cereal, 231.2, up 0.7% from the previous month; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 238.4, down 0.7% from November.

The price index for Bakery Products in December was 296.5, down 0.3% from November.

The December index for bread was 179.6, down 0.2% from November. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 325.7, up 0.7% from November. For bread other than white, the index was 346.3 down 1% from November.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in December was 177.2, down 0.4% from November. The December index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 281.6, down 0.1% from November. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 298.3, down 0.2% from November; and cookies, 268.5, down 0.1% from the previous month.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in December was 261.7, down 0.8% from November. Under this heading, other price indexes in December included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 289.7, down 3% from November; crackers and cracker products, 303, up 0.5% from November; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 265.1 up 0.1%.
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