WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for baked foods and cereal products rose 0.5% in March after rising 0.4% in February and 1.1% in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home also finished higher, rising 1% after gaining 0.5% in February and 1.4% in January.

Of the 18 items tracked by
Milling & Baking News, 14 posted month-over-month gains, while four finished lower.

The March index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 255.5% of the 1982-84 average, up 1.8% from a year ago. For all food at home, the March index was 223.4, up 3.5% from March 2010.

The CPI for cereals and cereal products in March was 223.4, up 0.7% from February and up 2.2% from March 2010. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 235.1, up 1.7% from February and up 4.2% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 220.1, up 0.9% from the previous month and up 2.1% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 229.9, up 0.2% from February and up 1.8% from March 2010.

The price index for bakery products in March was 272.5, up 0.4% from February and up 1.5% from March 2010.

The March index for bread was 163.8, down 0.2% from February but up 2.6% from March 2010. Under this heading, the CPI for white bread was 298.6, up 0.3% from February and up 2.7% from March 2010. For bread other than white, the index was 315.3, down 0.7% from February but up 3.1% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in March was 162, up 0.4% from February and up 6.1% from March 2010. The March index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 250.9, up 0.3% from February but down 0.4% from March 2010. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 259.9, up 0.9% from February and up 1% from March 2010; and cookies, 241.8, down 0.4% from the previous month and down 1.4% from the previous year.

The CPI for other bakery products in March was 249.4, up 0.8% from February but down 0.1% from March 2010. Under this heading, other price indexes in March included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 255.5, down 0.9% from February but up 0.9% from March 2010; crackers and cracker products, 289.5, up 1.5% from February but down 0.6% from March 2010; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 262, up 1% from February and up 0.7% from the previous year.