- Food-at-home prices rose in February at an 10.2% annual rate, down from the 11.3% rate recorded the month before, according to Consumer Price Index data released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The food-at-home index was up 0.3% in February compared with January — down from the monthly increase of 0.4% recorded last month.
- Egg prices decreased 6.7% on a monthly basis, compared to its 8.5% increase in January, indicating that prices of the protein may be recovering from its peak at the start of the year.
- Overall inflation continued to drop in February to a yearly pace of 6%, marking the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending September 2021, the BLS noted.
As overall inflation has continued to abate in recent months, grocery prices are also following a similar trajectory.
In February 2022, food-at-home prices skyrocketed at an annual pace of 8.6% during a month that saw overall inflation hit 7.9%. Those figures climbed even higher in August, reaching 13.5% and 8.3%, respectively. Overall inflation peaked at 9.1% last June.
In recent months, though, food-at-home prices and inflation have started to come down.
Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs dropped 0.1% in February compared with the month before, marking the first decrease for those items since December 2021. Eggs prices also declined 6.7% after steep increases in prior months.
Nonalcoholic beverage prices increased 1% in February compared to the prior month, while cereal and bakery product prices rose 0.3%. The index for fruits and vegetables increased 0.2%, while the index for dairy and related products rose 0.1% for the same period.
Gasoline prices recorded a smaller month-to-month increase in February (1%) compared to the January increase of 2.4%.
While the downward trend of consumer price increases are putting less pressure on consumers’ wallets, it also comes at a time when the federal government is dealing with a shaky financial system. In recent days, the fall of two large banks has raised questions about the Federal Reserve’s plan to increase interest rates to battle inflation.