WASHINGTON — The average price paid for white pan bread moved up narrowly while the average price for whole wheat bread jumped sharply during March, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The national average retail price of white pan bread was 136.8c, up 0.7c per lb from February but down 4.2c from March 2009. On a month-to-month basis, the average price for white pan bread rose in three regions — up 2.3c in the Midwest, up 2c in the South and up 2c in the West — and fell in one region — down 9.6c in the Northeast. The trend continued recent erratic pricing in the Northeast, where month-over-month average prices rose 8c in December 2009, fell 7.2c in January, rose 5c in February, before falling back 9.6c this past month.

At 179.3c per lb, the national average price for whole wheat bread was up 5.2c per lb from February but down 15c per lb from March 2009. The 5.2c per lb gain was the sharpest advance since the price rose 6.2c in October 2008.

The national average price of family flour in March was 47.9c per lb, down 1.7c from February and down 2.4c from March 2009.

The national average price for spaghetti and macaroni in March was 114.5c per lb, down 1.8c from February but up 0.6c from March 2009. Chocolate chip cookies were 313.4c per lb, down 13.2c from February but up 7.8c from March 2009.