The price American consumers paid for groceries increased 2.6% in April, the Labor Department announced on Tuesday, marking the largest one-month rise in 46 years, CNBC
The increase was particularly significant in the price of the meats, poultry, fish and eggs category, which rose 4.3%, as Americans rushed to grocery stores last month to stock up on supplies as the coronavirus crisis worsened and state government started to issue lockdowns.
Fruits and vegetables went up 1.5%, while cereals and bakery products increased 2.9%.
The rise in food prices was contrasted to an overall 0.8% decline in prices in April, the largest one-month decrease since 2008.
Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the core CPI dropped 0.4%, its largest slump ever through records kept since 1957.
Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, said that “Food price gains were robust as we know there are empty shelves out there. Demand we know in most areas of the economy has collapsed and prices are falling in response.”
He added that “In areas where demand has hung in, like ‘food at home’ we have inflation because the supply side has been damaged, whether directly via infected facilities or because of the higher costs of finding freight capacity.”
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