Baked foods and cereal products index registers sharp gain in May, June 29, 2010
by Editorial Staff

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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products rose 0.4% in May, its sharpest month-over-month gain since January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, continued its upward march, advancing 0.1% in May after rising 0.1% in April and 0.2% in March.

In sharp contrast to the previous several months, the index was higher for 14 of the 18 products tracked by Milling & Baking News. By comparison, the index was lower for 12 of the 18 products tracked during April.

The May index for cereals and bakery products before seasonal adjustment was 251.3% of the 1982-84 average, down 0.6% from a year ago. For all food at home, the May index was 215.8, up 0.3% from May 2009.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in May was 218.3, down 0.2% from April and down 1.7% from May 2009. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 224, up 0.5% from April but down 4.8% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 217.4, up 0.2% from the previous month and up 0.1% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 222.6, down 1% from April and down 3.6% from May 2009.

The price index for bakery products in May was 268.9, up 0.6% from April and unchanged from May 2009.

The May index for bread was 159.9, up 0.5% from April but down 1.4% from May 2009. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 290.4, up 0.3% from April but down 3.1% from May 2009. For bread other than white, the index was 307.3, up 0.9% from April and up 0.5% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in May was 152.8, up 0.7% from April but down 1.8% from May 2009. The May index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 251.9, up 0.4% from April and up 1.3% from May 2009. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 256.6, down 0.6% from April but up 0.3% from May 2009; and cookies, 246.2, up 1.1% from the previous month and up 2.3% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in May was 250.1, up 0.7% from April and up 0.9% from May 2009.

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