Inflation

Grocery prices continue to climb

“Inflation has caused the price of all consumer goods to increase, and the food sector has been particularly hard hit,” said FMI VP Andy Harig, responding to the release of September's consumer price index report Thursday.
Food inflation
Food prices are up again in September according the latest CPI figures. / Photograph: Shutterstock.

Food prices are up yet again.

The food index continued to rise last month, increasing 0.8% month over month and the food at home index rose 0.7% in September as all six major grocery store food group indexes increased, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly consumer price index (CPI) report that was released early Thursday morning.  

“Inflation has caused the price of all consumer goods to increase, and the food sector has been particularly hard hit,” said Andy Harig, FMI's VP of  tax, trade, sustainability and policy development, in a statement.We understand that inflation poses significant economic challenges and is making money tight for many families. Grocery stores—and the entire food industry—are doing all they can to ensure Americans their customers have resources to plan and budget and remain committed to working with their customers to help mitigate the impacts of inflation.”

The core CPI, which measures the changes in the price of goods and services, excluding energy and food went up6.6% from a year ago, BLS reported.

In the past 12 months, the food-at-home index has risen 13%.  Year over year, the largest price increases are in cereals and bakery (16.2%), and dairy (15.9%). Other grocery store categories that posted significant increases year over year are meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (9%) and other food at home (15.7%).

The CPI numbers are prompting speculation about what the Federal Reserve’s next move will be. But with the latest figures, grocery stores will also be closely watched as they try to find ways to aid shoppers tackling record high grocery prices especially as the holiday season approaches.

“Food prices are up again by nearly a percentage point month over month. While the numbers may shift and vary by region and retail category, what remains true is that inflation and its impact on consumers will play a major role in the upcoming holiday months,” said Matt Pavichsenior director of retail innovation for Revionics, an AI solutions provider for pricing, promotions, markdowns and competitive insight.Retailers will absolutely need to focus on their price perception and provide consumers with great value and offers on the items that they care most about across all channels headed into the winter.”

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