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Food prices rise, outpaced by U.S. inflation rate

Pulled by strong meat prices, September food prices were 4.6% higher than a year ago, said the Labor Department on Wednesday. The monthly Consumer Price Index report said the annual U.S. inflation rate was 5.4% in September, compared with 5.3% in the preceding month.

Energy and food showed large increases for the past month but prices for used cars fell. They were a factor in previous monthly increases and remain 24% higher than a year ago. “The energy index rose 24.8% over the last 12 months and the food index increased 4.6% over that period,” it said.

Among grocery items, the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was up by 10.5% from September 2020. “The index for beef rose 17.6% over the year,” said the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The smallest increase was for dairy and related complex, which rose 0.6% over the last 12 months.”

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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