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Food-at-home inflation remains at 40-year high in August

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September 13, 2022 — The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.3 percent before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase. These increases were mostly offset by a 10.6-percent decline in the gasoline index.

The food index continued to rise, increasing 0.8 percent over the month as the food at home index rose 0.7 percent. The energy index fell 5.0 percent over the month as the gasoline index declined, but the electricity and natural gas indexes increased.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in August, a larger increase than in July. The indexes for shelter, medical care, household furnishings and operations, new vehicles, motor vehicle insurance, and education were among those that increased over the month. There were some indexes that declined in August, including those for airline fares, communication, and used cars and trucks.

The all items index increased 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending August, a smaller figure than the 8.5-percent increase for the period ending July. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.3 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index increased 23.8 percent for the 12 months ending August, a smaller increase than the 32.9-percent increase for the period ending July. The food index increased 11.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979.

cpi 8-22

Food
The food index increased 0.8 percent in August, the smallest monthly increase in that index since December 2021. The food at home index rose 0.7 percent in August as all six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The index for other food at home rose 1.1 percent, while the index for cereals and bakery products rose 1.2 percent over the month.

The meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index; the fruits and vegetables index; and the nonalcoholic beverages index all increased 0.5 percent in August. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.3 percent over the month, the smallest increase in that index since November 2021.

The food away from home index rose 0.9 percent in August after rising 0.7 percent in July. The index for full service meals increased 0.8 percent and the index for limited service meals increased 0.7 percent over the month.

The food at home index rose 13.5 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979. The index for other food at home rose 16.7 percent and the index for cereals and bakery products increased 16.4 percent over the year. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 9.4 percent (fruits and vegetables) to 16.2 percent (dairy and related products).

The index for food away from home rose 8.0 percent over the last year. The index for full service meals rose 9.0 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for limited service meals rose 7.2 percent over the last year.