U.S. CPI for baked foods, cereals rebounds in March

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for baked foods and cereal products increased 0.2% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home also increased 0.2%.

Of the 18 items followed by World Grain’s sister publication Milling & Baking News, 10 posted month-over-month declines, while 8 finished higher.

The March index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 272.2% of the 1982-84 average, down 0.4% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 238.3, down 0.8% from March 2016.

The CPI for cereals and cereal products in March was 228.4, down 0.3% from February and down 1.3% from March 2016. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 238.9, up 0.5% from February but down 0.1% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 225.6, down 0.3% from the previous month and down 0.7% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 234.1, down 0.8% from February and down 2.6% from March 2016.

The price index for bakery products in March was 297.2, up 0.4% from February and up 0.1% from March 2016.

The March index for bread was 177.5, down 0.6% from February and down 0.5% from March 2016. Under this heading, the CPI for white bread was 323.2, down 0.7% from February but up 0.2% from March 2016. For bread other than white, the index was 341.3, down 0.6% from February and down 1.3% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 176.8, up 2.2% from February and up 0.2% from March 2016. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 282.2, down 0.1% from February and down 0.1% from March 2016. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 302.0, down 0.6% from February but up 0.7% from March 2016; and cookies, 266.7, up 0.1% from the previous month but down 0.6% from the previous year.

The CPI for other bakery products in March was 266.6, up 1% from February and up 0.9% from March 2016. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 294.6, up 0.2% from February and up 0.5% from March 2016; crackers and cracker products, 307.7, up 1.5% from February and up 1.5% from March 2016; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 268.2, up 1% from February and up 0.1% from the previous year.
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