C.P.I. for baked foods and cereals falls 0.1%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products fell 0.1% in March. The decline comes on the heels of a 0.3% gain in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, rose 0.2% after easing 0.1% in February.

Overall, the index was lower for 11 of the 18 products tracked by Milling & Baking News. By comparison, only 5 of the 18 products posted month-over-month declines in February.

The March index for cereals and bakery products before seasonal adjustment was 250.9% of the 1982-84 average, down 1.1% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 215.6, down 0.7% from March 2009.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in March was 218.4, down 0.4% from February and down 1.4% from March 2009. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 225.2, down 2.4% from February and down 3.9% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 215.5, up 0.3% from the previous month and up 0.2% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 225.8, down 0.9% from February and down 3.2% from March 2009.

The price index for bakery products in March was 268.3, down 0.1% from February and down 0.9% from March 2009.

The March index for bread was 159.5, up 0.3% from February but down 3.8% from March 2009. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 290.4, up 0.1% from February but down 4.8% from March 2009. For bread other than white, the index was 305.6, up 0.2% from February but down 2.7% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 152.1, down 0.4% from February and down 3.9% from March 2009. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 251.8, down 0.6% from February but up 0.9% from March 2009. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 257.4, down 0.5% from February but up 1.4% from March 2009; and cookies, 245.2, down 0.7% from the previous month but up 0.2% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in March was 249.5, up 0.2% from February and up 1.4% from March 2009. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 253.1, down 0.5% from February and down 0.3% from March 2009; crackers and cracker products, 291.1, up 0.3% from February and up 2.3% from March 2009; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 260.2, up 0.3% from February and up 1.2% from the previous year.

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