Increases in US grocery prices continued to slow in April on an annualised basis, with the overall consumer price index rising by the least in two years.

The cost of a basket of food stuffs and non-alcoholic beverages rose 7.7% in the 12 months through April, compared to 8.5% in March and 9.5% in February. Food and drinks inflation hit a peak of 11.4% last August.

Cereals and bakery products led last month’s increase, up 12.4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today (10 May). The cost of non-alcoholic drinks climbed 9.5% and the prices of dairy products rose 8%. Meat, poultry, fish and eggs were up 2.8%, while fruit and vegetables increased 2% over the year.

Measured on a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index for food and soft drinks was flat, as it was in March, after rising 0.4% in February. In individual component terms, prices fell.

Dairy costs were down 0.7% as the milk index fell 2%, the largest decline since February 2015, the Bureau said. Fruit and vegetables dropped 0.5% and meat, poultry, fish and eggs declined 0.3%. Cereals and bakery products bucked the trend, increasing 0.2%.

The Bureau’s all-items index of consumer prices – the headline measure – rose 4.9% in the 12 months through April, the smallest annual increase since the period to April 2021.

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On a month-on-month basis, it climbed 0.4%, accelerating from 0.1% in March.

The index measuring food consumed at home fell 0.2% over the month,
while the cost of eating out rose 0.4%.

On an annualised basis, food away from home rose 8.6%.