- Food-at-home prices were up in October at a 12.4% annual rate, while the overall inflation rate came in at 7.7%, according to Consumer Price Index data published Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- The food-at-home index rose by 0.4% in October compared with the month before — the slowest month-to-month jump since December 2021.
- While consumer prices still moved ahead at a brisk clip in October, the latest figures suggest inflation may have reached a high point after months of increases.
Grocery inflation eased in October on an annual basis for the second month in a row, in step with the overall inflation rate, which is now at its slowest pace since January.
The food-at-home index reached its apex in August, when it hit a 13.5% year-over-year pace — the highest rate for the statistic in 43 years. The index declined to 13% in September.
The overall Consumer Price Index, meanwhile, recorded its highest level for 2022 in June, when it came in at a 9.1% annual clip, a level the figure hadn’t touched since late 1981.
Prices for cereals and bakery products were up 15.9% in October on an annual basis, the most among the categories included in the food at home index. Dairy and related products were not far behind, at 15.5%, followed by nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, which posted a 12.7% increase.
Fruit and vegetable prices rose in October at a 9.3% yearly clip, followed by the meats, poultry, fish and eggs category, which posted inflation of 8%.
The Food Industry Association (FMI) seized on the latest inflation statistics to emphasize that the grocery industry is highly cognizant that months of skyrocketing grocery prices continue to hobble consumers and is taking aggressive steps to mitigate the affordability challenges people face.
“The cost of consumer goods continues to rise, adding pressure on budgets across the country. Grocery stores – and the entire food industry – are doing all they can to ensure Americans have options to stay within their grocery budget and remain committed to working with their customers to help mitigate the impacts of inflation,” FMI Vice President of Tax, Trade, Sustainability and Policy Development Andy Harig said in a statement.
Stock market investors took the data as a sign that the intense pressure inflation has put on the economy since last year is lessening. The S&P 500 index climbed more than 4% after the BLS released the numbers.