Baked foods, cereal index slips 0.2%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products fell for the third straight month, easing 0.2% in August after falling 0.1% in July and 0.4% in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, rebounded from two consecutive months of declines, rising 0.1% in August after falling 0.1% in July and 0.2% in June.

The number of items that finished higher and lower from the previous month was evenly split at 9.

The August index for cereals and bakery products before seasonal adjustment was 249.7% of the 1982-84 average, down 0.2% from a year ago. For all food at home, the August index was 215.4, up 0.1% from August 2009.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in August was 218.6, up 0.4% from July but down 2.2% from August 2009. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 226.4, up 0.5% from July but down 3.4% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 216.4, up 0.9% from the previous month but down 1.5% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 224.4, down 0.7% from July and down 3.1% from August 2009.

The price index for bakery products in August was 266.3, down 0.4% from July and down 0.5% from August 2009.

The August index for bread was 157, down 1.9% from July and down 2.5% from August 2009. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 290, down 0.1% from July and down 2% from August 2009. For bread other than white, the index was 294.7, down 4.3% from July and down 3.7% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in August was 153.1, up 0.3% from July and up 2.3% from August 2009. The August index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 249.6, down 0.2% from July and down 0.1% from August 2009. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 254.8, down 0.5% from July and down 0.2% from August 2009; and cookies, 245.1, up 0.7% from the previous month and up 0.7% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in August was 248.3, up 0.4% from July but down 0.4% from August 2009. Under this heading, other price indexes in August included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 252.3, up 0.5% from July but down 0.4% from August 2009; crackers and cracker products, 288.1, up 0.9% from July but down 1.2% from August 2009; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 257.5, down 1.1% from July and down 0.2% from the previous year.

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