With retail food price inflation up 0.7% in August and 13.5% year over year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) producer price index (PPI) August figures brought a short period of rest to weary Americans struggling with high food prices.
The producer price index, which measures the average changes in prices received for final demand products, fell 0.1%, BLS reported Wednesday. Excluding food, energy and trade services, PPI increased 0.2%. In August, over three-quarters of the decrease in prices for final demand goods is attributable to the index for gasoline, which fell 12.7 percent, BLS reported.
For the CPG industry, key commodities are still coming in higher than overall wholesale prices, as the food PPI rose 12.2% over the same time last year.
“Sky-high wholesale prices are a familiar refrain, but what’s different now is that we are seeing less cost from pandemic ripple effects and more from a supply chain that has been hammered by crisis after crisis,” said Katie Denis, VP of communications and research at Consumer Brands, in a statement Wednesday. “Problems like extreme weather and geopolitical dynamics are not in our control, but our level of preparedness is. We shouldn’t be scrambling at the eleventh hour. We can better absorb shocks to the system ... by passing policies that give us greater visibility into the supply chain and more response time to accommodate issues before they become crises.”
On the food front, eggs dipped from July to August but are still 104.7% higher than the same time last year, PPI data revealed. Fresh and dry vegetables are 45.2% higher than last year ,while cooking oils, which declined 1.7% in the last month, are still 13.4% above last August, PPI reported. Commodities, which saw no decline but are still well above last year include pasta, which is 33.3% higher than August 2021.
Additional food categories still higher in wholesale prices year over year are:
- Processed turkey, 39.5%
- Fresh fruits and melon, 21.9%
- Dairy products, 20.3%
- Roasted coffee, 15.1%