Soaring Beef Prices Lead Broad-Based U.S. Grocery Inflation

June CPI shows 5.6% increase in grocery prices
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Led by soaring retail prices for beef—and other increases across the store—grocery prices soared by 5.6% in June vs. the same period a year ago, according new figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index (CPI).

The index’s food-at-home category, a proxy for grocery store price inflation, saw its largest 12-month increase since the period ending in December 2011 and represented an acceleration from May’s 4.8% retail price increase.

CPI June 2020


The beef index rose by 25.1%, leading to an overall 12.8% increase in prices in the CPI’s meats, poultry, fish and eggs category. But year-over-year price increases were recorded in all of the index’s six categories ranging from a 2.3% increase in fruits and vegetables to 5.3% in nonalcoholic beverages. Cereals and bakery products were up 3.3%, dairy and related products rose by 51.%, and other food-at-home products increased by 3.4%.

Supply chain strains exacerbated by the coronavirus and the subsequent shift in food spending to the retail channel had helped to spark the rise in meat and other protein prices.

The index for food away from home, commonly considered restaurant prices, rose 3.1% over the past year, CPI data showed.



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