WASHINGTON (FNS) -- The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages rose 0.1% in April, after a 0.2% drop in March, according to Labor Department statistics released in mid-May.
Over the year, the CPI for food and beverages is up 2.3%.
"We've had no inflation to speak of for so long, but the fact that energy prices have gone up has given a lot of people a protective coloration," said Maureen Allyn, chief economist at Sudder Kemper Investments. "People and companies think 'the gas pump prices have risen, so I can raise prices too.' "
The index for food at home, which decreased 0.5% in March, increased 0.1% in April. The indexes for fruits and vegetables, for meats, poultry, fish and eggs and for other food at home, each of which declined in March, increased in April, more than offsetting another decline in the index for daily products, according to the Labor Department.
The index for fruits and vegetables, which declined 2.2% in March, rose 1.4% in April. A 3.8% increase in the CPI for fresh fruits offset small declines in the indexes for fresh vegetables and for processed fruits and vegetables. The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs rose 0.3% in April, reflecting price increases for beef, pork and fish and seafood. The index for dairy products fell 3.3% in April, following a 0.5% decrease in March.
Among the other major grocery-store food groups, the indexes for cereal and bakery products and for other food at home rose 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively. The index for nonalcoholic beverages declined 0.3%.
Retail prices of all consumer goods rose 0.7%, the largest monthly advance since an increase of the same magnitude in October 1990. About half of the April advance was attributed to a record increase in gasoline prices. Against a year-ago the CPI was up 2.3%.