WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Prices for food sold in supermarkets in January declined a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for the second consecutive monthly dip, the Labor Department reported last week.
h were up 3.9%.
The monthly drop in prices is largely due to the 2% drop in the index for fruits and vegetables. However, when compared to January 1996, produce prices last month increased 3.2% due to a shift in supply sources for lettuce, tomatoes and potatoes. The effects of last month's freeze in Florida were not reflected in January's price report, but will likely show their impact in subsequent months, said Annette Clauson, an economist with the USDA.
The decline in produce prices for the month was offset by a 5% increase in the price of flour. Prices for processed food were up 0.3%.
Although grain prices for cattle and poultry continue to be reflected in strong prices for meat and dairy, this more than yearlong trend is easing, Clauson said. On a monthly basis, prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs declined 0.4%, but were up 4.8% over last year. Prices for dairy products declined 0.5% for the month and were up 8.4% over their year-ago levels.