CPI: Protein Was Pricier in May

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs led price hikes at the grocery store in May
checkout stands at Target
Photograph by WGB Staff

Consumers paid more for meat, poultry, fish and eggs at the grocery store in May, with beef seeing its biggest price hikes since last June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest consumer price index (CPI) report.

Beef prices at retail were up 2.3% in May, with most of that coming from price increases for roasts (up 6.4%), steaks (up 4.3%) and other uncooked beef and veal (up 4.8%). Prices for fresh fish and seafood rose 2.7% on a monthly basis; poultry prices rose 1.9%.

Elsewhere in the grocery store, prices for cereals and bakery products were up 0.5% in May after inching up 0.1% in April, and dairy product prices rose 0.4%—a slowdown from price increases of 0.6% in April and 1.6% in March. Over the past year, food-at-home prices overall are up 0.7%, with fruit and vegetable prices seeing the largest increase (2.9%).

Overall, the bureau's CPI rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in the month of May after climbing 0.8% in April. On a year-over-year basis without seasonal adjustment, consumer prices for all goods were up 5% in May—"the largest 12-month increase since a 5.4% increase for the period ending August 2008," the bureau noted.


Prices for new and used cars, furniture, airline fares and apparel continued their climb in May; used cars alone accounted for about one-third of the CPI increase last month. 

The cost of dining out, too, rose further last month: Food-away-from home prices climbed 0.6% in May after edging up 0.3% in April. Prices at full-service restaurants rose by the most since last June. Over the past year, prices at full-service restaurants—more of which are starting to operate at full capacity for the first time since the pandemic started—are up 4.1%, the largest increase since the 12 months ending October 2008.



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