Consumers paid a bit more for the items in their grocery carts in February, with prices for food at home rising 0.3% for the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Overall for the 12-month period ending in February, food-at-home prices rose 3.5%. That compares with year-over-year increases of 3.7% recorded in January and 3.9% in December.
Last month, consumer prices edged up in four of six grocery categories, with fruits and vegetables seeing the largest month-over-month increase, at 0.7%. That includes a 1.8% climb in prices for fresh fruits—fruit's biggest monthly price jump since March 2014.
Consumer prices also rose in the meats, poultry, fish and eggs category, albeit at a slower pace than in January (0.3% vs. 0.5%). Prices for cereals and bakery products rose 0.5% in February; prices for other center store and otherwise uncategorized items climbed 0.1%.
Dairy products and nonalcohol beverages were the two categories to see month-over-month price declines. Dairy prices slipped 0.2% after sliding 0.4% in January. Nonalcohol beverage prices ticked down 0.1%.
For the year-over-year period, meats, poultry, fish and eggs continued to be the leader in price increases, with consumer prices climbing 5.2% from a year ago. Nonalcohol beverage prices year over year are up 4.0%; fruits and vegetables, in third place, saw prices climb 3.4%.
Where else were consumers paying more in February? At limited-service restaurants, for one. Fast-food prices were up 0.4% over the month before—they're also up 6.3% for the year, the largest 12-month increase for the category since the index started in 1997. Consumers paid more at the pump, too: Gas prices were up 6.4% over January.