Overall, the food index was unchanged in March versus February. The food-at-home index dipped by 0.3% in March, the first time the category has seen a decline since September 2020, according to the BLS. Three of six major grocery store food indexes also decreased in March — meats, poultry and fish saw a 1.4% decrease in March, while the CPI for eggs fell 10.9%; the fruits and vegetables index fell by 1.3% and the index for dairy products dipped by 0.1%.
Other categories, however, were basically flat. The index for other food at home rose 0.4% in March, which is higher than the 0.3% increase in February. Cereal and bakery products increased by 0.6% and the index for nonalcoholic beverages rose by 0.2% in March, the BLS said.
The food at home index grew 8.4% for the year ending March. Prices for cereals and bakery products rose 13.6% for the year ending in March. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 2.5% for fruits and vegetables to 11.3% for nonalcoholic beverages.
Overall, food away from home rose by 0.6% from February and 8.8% compared to the previous 12 months.