Thoughts in Charts: The Price of Food

Do you feel like your grocery bill is increasing? Your inflation intuition is correct. The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) is the measurement of prices on a “cart” of general goods that most people use in their daily lives – think the cost of milk, meat, gas, and rent. While the price of this overall cart has not changed much in the last 12 months, the low percentage change is mainly because of the price dip in the energy portion of the metric. The price of food, on the other hand, has increased more than the 2% we expect in a normal year. As you hear more about inflation in the next few months, keep an ear out for the phrase “core inflation” as it excludes these more volatile food and energy prices.

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