Retailers

Inflation Climbs Down from 40-Year High, But Grocery Prices Keep Soaring

Despite energy prices dropping, the food index is up 10.9%—the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979.
CPI
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Inflation remains elevated but took a slight dip from the historic high levels from June prompting hopes that prices may have peaked. But despite energy prices dropping, the food index is up 10.9%—the largest 12-month increase in 43 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) July Consumer Price Index (CPI) revealed Wednesday. 

Food at home prices soared another 1.3% in July and are up 13.1% over the past year. Consumer prices increased 8.5% in July from a year ago, a decrease from June which hit 9.1%, marking a new 40-year high, the BLS reported.

The food index continued to rise, though, climbing 1.1% over the month as the food-at-home index rose 1.3%.

"While the July CPI figures suggest that inflation has already hit its peak, inflation is still a significant source of concern for most consumers,” Matt Pavich, senior director of retail innovation for Revionics, an AI-powered retail price optimization solutions company, told WGB in an email.“The longer inflation goes on, the more likely it is for consumers to make permanent the behavior changes they’ve adopted during these inflationary times–whether that’s switching to more private-label products or buying a larger share of their essential goods at dollar stores and value-driven grocers.”

Grocery items seeing notably high inflation in July include:

  • Butter and margarine, 26.4%
  • Eggs, 38%
  • Baby food, 15%
  • Rice, pasta and cornmeal, 14.5%
  • Crackers, bread and cracker products 16.8%
  • Coffee 20.3%

The gasoline index fell 7.7% in July and offset increases in the food and shelter indexes, resulting in the all-items index being unchanged over the month, the BLS said.

The energy index fell 4.6% over the month as the indexes for gasoline and natural gas declined, but the index for electricity increased. 

On a monthly basis, the CPI for all urban consumers was unchanged in July compared to the 1.3% rise in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3% in July, a smaller increase than in April, May or June.

 

 

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