C.P.I. for baked foods and cereals again finishes lower

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products in March eased 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The decline follows a decline of 0.1% in February.

The March index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 253.7% of the 1982-84 average, up 6.9% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 217.1, down 0.6% from February but up 4.1% from March 2008.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in March was 221.5, down 0.3% from February but up 6.4% from March 2008. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 233.9, down 1.7% from February but up 7.9% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 215, up 0.1% from the previous month and up 1.7% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 233.1, down 0.3% from February but up 13.6% from March 2008.

The price index for bakery products in March was 270.8, down 0.2% from February but up 7.1% from March 2008.

The March index for bread was 165.5, up 0.4% from February and up 5.8% from March 2008. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 304.4, up 0.7% from February and up 5.4% from March 2008. For bread other than white, the index was 314, up 0.3% from February and up 6.3% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 158.1, unchanged from February and up 7.3% from March 2008. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 249.6, up 0.1% from February and up 6.8% from March 2008. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 253.9, down 0.9% from February but up 5.5% from March 2008; and cookies, 244.6, up 0.9% from the previous month and up 8.1% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in March was 245.9, down 1.1% from February but up 8.5% from March 2008. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 253.9, up 0.2% from February and up 5.9% from March 2007; crackers and cracker products, 284.4 down 2.6% from February but up 9.3% from March 2008; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 257.2, up 0.8% from February and up 9.6% from the previous year.

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