C.P.I. for baked foods, cereals eases 0.3%

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products fell 0.3% in March after climbing 0.4% in February and 0.3% in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, inched up 0.1% after falling 0.2% in February.

Of the 18 items followed by Milling & Baking News, 4 posted month-over-month gains, 11 finished lower and three were unchanged.

The March index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 267.1% of the 1982-84 average, up 4.3% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 231.4, up 3.5% from March 2011.

The C.P.I. for cereals and cereal products in March was 232.7, down 0.3% from February but up 4% from March 2011. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 252.1, up 0.6% from February and up 6.7% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 228, unchanged from the previous month but up 3.5% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 239, down 1.3% from February but up 3.8% from March 2011.

The price index for bakery products in March was 285.8, down 0.2% from February but up 4.7% from March 2011.

The March index for bread was 173, unchanged from February but up 5.3% from March 2011. Under this heading, the C.P.I. for white bread was 313.3, down 0.6% from February but up 4.7% from March 2011. For bread other than white, the index was 334, down 0.2% from February but up 5.6% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 168.4, unchanged from February but up 3.8% from March 2011. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 265.1, unchanged from February but up 5.4% from March 2011. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 277.6, up 0.6% from February and up 6.4% from March 2011; and cookies, 253.9, down 0.7% from the previous month but up 4.8% from the previous year.

The C.P.I. for other bakery products in March was 259, down 0.8% from February and up 3.7% from March 2011. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 275.3, down 0.1% from February but up 7.2% from March 2011; crackers and cracker products, 299.8, down 2.1% from February but up 3.4% from March 2011; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 269.9, up 0.5% from February and up 2.9% from the previous year.

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