C.P.I. for baked foods, cereals declines for second straight year

by Eric Schroeder
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Muffin and cereal
The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products posted its second straight year-over-year decline.
 

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products posted its second straight year-over-year decline, falling 0.5% in 2017, which followed a decline of 0.3% in 2016. The two years of declines come on the heels of gains of 1.1% in 2015, 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, 12 of the 18 categories followed by Milling & Baking News finished lower for the year, while 4 finished higher and 2 were virtually unchanged.

The price index for Bakery Products was unchanged in 2017, which compared with increases of 0.1% in 2016, 1.4% in 2015, 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 decreased 0.1% for the second consecutive year. The index increased 1.3% in 2015, but was down 0.2% in 2014. Within the segment, white bread increased 0.1% after decreasing 0.2% in 2016. The index was 1.2% higher in 2015 but 0.6% lower in 2014. Bread other than white, meanwhile, finished lower, decreasing 0.2% in 2017 after increasing 0.3% in 2016 and 0.8% in 2015. The index fell 0.1% in 2014 but 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 0.4% in 2017 after climbing 1% in 2016, 1.9% in 2015, 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 fell 0.2%, which followed a decline of 0.4% in 2016. Prior to the two straight years of declines, the index had been up for several years, increasing 0.6% in 2015, 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 were unchanged; crackers and other cracker products decreased 0.7%; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers increased 0.2%.

The C.P.I. for Cereals and Cereal Products decreased 1.5% after falling 1.2% in 2016. The index increased 0.5% in 2015 and 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 2017, easing 1.9% after falling 2.1% in 2016, 1.5% in 2015, 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 decreased 1.1% for the second consecutive year after posting gains of 0.4% in 2015 and 0.5% in 2014; and rice, pasta and corn meal was down 2% after decreasing 1% in 2016.

On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products was stronger, rising 0.1% in December.

The December index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 269.8% of the 1982-84 average. For all food at home, the December index was 238.6, up 0.1% from November.

The C.P.I. for Cereals and Cereal Products in December was 225.2, down 0.1% from November. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 227.7, down 0.4% from November; breakfast cereal, 224.1, up 0.3% from the previous month; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 231.2, down 0.4% from November.

The price index for Bakery Products in December was 295.4, up 0.1% from November.

The December index for bread was 178.1, up 0.1% from November. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 322.4, up 0.7% from November. For bread other than white, the index was 346, down 0.4% from November.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in December was 178.7, up 1.2% from November. The December index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 282.7, up 0.1% from November. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 304.4, down 0.6% from November; and cookies, 265.1, up 0.1% from the previous month.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in December was 258.9, down 0.4% from November. Under this heading, other price indexes in December included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 292.5, down 0.4% from November; crackers and cracker products, 293.7, up 0.5% from November; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 263.2 down 0.6%.  
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