Food prices at retail stores were up by 4.6% on a year-over-year basis in August, but the rate of increase slowed from July as bakery and meat categories further recovered from COVID-related availability issues driving spikes in pricing during May and June.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index for food-at-home, a proxy for inflation at supermarkets, fell by 0.1% in August after falling 1.1% in July. The August decrease was triggered primarily by the index for meat, poultry fish and eggs, which fell 4.4% in August, its second straight month of sharp declines. The cereals and bakery products index in the meantime declined by 0.2%.
The remaining four major grocery store food group indexes increased in August. The index for dairy and related products rose 1.5% in August after declining in June and July. The index for other food-at-home rose 0.5%, the index for fruits and vegetables rose 0.2%, and the index for nonalcohol beverages advanced 0.1%, the Bureau said.
On a year-over-year basis, all five categories are up, led by meats at 7.1%.