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Grocery prices continue to rise despite lower inflation 

Although there has been a recent slowdown in inflation, the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates a continued rise in grocery prices.

The CPI categorizes food expenses into two groups: food consumed at home (such as groceries) and food consumed away from home (including dining out and fast food).

Over the past year, the cost of groceries has risen by 2.6%. Additionally, between December 2023 and January 2024, grocery prices increased by 0.4%, marking the highest monthly increase in the past year.

The CPI further subdivides food expenses into six categories under “food at home,” including cereals and bakery products, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, dairy and related products, fruits and vegetables, nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, and other food at home (comprising fats, oils, sugars, and other items).

In January 2024, four out of these six categories experienced price hikes, while cereals and bakery products saw a decline in prices, and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs remained unchanged.

Among the categories with price increases, nonalcoholic beverages witnessed the most significant rise, increasing by 1.2% in January compared to the previous month’s 0.2% increase.

Within specific subcategories, frozen noncarbonated juices and drinks saw the highest price increase at 9.9%, followed by instant coffee at 1.8%, carbonated drinks at 1.6%, and juices at 1.4%.

Dairy and related products experienced the smallest price increase at 0.2%, while the “other food at home” category increased by 0.6%, and fruits and vegetables went up by 0.4% in January.

Several items within various categories experienced price increases of over 1% in January, including spices, soups, margarine, sugar, processed fruits and vegetables, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, eggs, and hotdogs.

However, despite the overall rise in grocery prices, some categories experienced price decreases of over 1% in January, including flour and prepared flour mixes, fresh cakes and cupcakes, crackers, bread, cracker products, uncooked ground beef, bacon, ham, fish, seafood, fresh whole milk, ice cream, and fresh fruits.

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