C.P.I. for baked foods and cereals holds steady

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products in May held steady, ending three consecutive months of declining prices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home fell 0.3%, its fourth straight month of declines, the first time that has happened in recent memory.

The May index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 252.7% of the 1982-84 average, up 3.4% from a year ago. For all food at home, the May index was 215.1, down 0.3% from April but up 1.5% from May 2008.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in May was 222.1, up 0.5% from April and up 4.2% from May 2008. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 234.8, up 1.5% from April and up 1.6% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 217.3, down 0.1% from the previous month but up 2.7% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 230.7, up 1.1% from April and up 7.6% from May 2008.

The price index for bakery products in May was 268.9, down 0.2% from April but up 2.9% from May 2008.

The May index for bread was 162.2, down 1.3% from April but up 0.5% from May 2008. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 299.4, down 0.8% from April but up 1.6% from May 2008. For bread other than white, the index was 305.8, down 2.1% from April and down 0.9% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in May was 155.6, down 0.4% from April but up 3.4% from May 2008. The May index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 248.6, down 0.8% from April but up 4.3% from May 2008. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 255.8, down 1% from April but up 4.3% from May 2008; and cookies, 240.6, down 0.5% from the previous month but up 3.2% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in May was 247.8, up 1.4% from April and up 4.1% from May 2008. Under this heading, other price indexes in May included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 254.6, up 2.3% from April and up 5.5% from May 2007; crackers and cracker products, 286.6 up 0.3% from April and up 3.2% from May 2008; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 262.7, up 3.1% from April and up 6.9% from the previous year.

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