Poultry and Eggs Lead Food Prices Higher

Chart 1. Prices over the long term
Table 1. EPI expenditure categories and June 2015 weights

The Everyday Price Index (EPI) increased 0.8 percent in June after increasing 1.1 percent in May.

In comparison, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, increased 0.4 percent in June on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis after rising 0.5 percent in May. AIER’s EPI is not seasonally adjusted.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI increased 0.3 percent in June.

Over the past 12 months the EPI has decreased 2.4 percent while the CPI has increased 0.1 percent. The difference between the EPI and the CPI has been due to a drop in energy prices. The EPI assigns a greater weight to energy.

Energy prices increased 3 percent in June, leading the EPI higher. Gasoline prices rose 2.5 percent in June, after increasing 10.5 percent in May. Taking a closer look at prices at the pump, regular gasoline rose 2.6 percent, mid-grade increased 2.7 percent, and premium increased 1.6 percent. Even though gasoline prices continued to increase in June, over the past 12 months, gasoline prices have dropped 23.2 percent. On the home front, electricity prices increased 4.7 percent and natural gas prices increased 1 percent.

Food is another main component of the EPI. Food prices increased 0.2 percent in June with both food-at-home and food-away-from-home increasing 0.2 percent. Food-at-home prices were led higher a 1.4 percent increase in poultry and a 17.8 percent spike in egg prices. Poultry and egg prices rose due to supply shortages caused by bird flu. Offsetting the increases in poultry and eggs, fresh seafood decreased 1.2 percent and fresh fruits and vegetables decreased 1.4 percent. Over the past 12 months, food-at-home has increased 1 percent; in contrast food-away-from-home has increased 3 percent.

Personal-care prices were mixed in June, with personal-care products decreasing 0.3 percent and personal-care services increasing 1.6 percent. Rounding out the EPI, child care services increased 0.2 percent in June and have increased 4.3 percent over the past 12 months. Prescription drugs and medical supplies registered a 0.2 percent increase in June and have increased 4.8 percent over the past 12 months. On the other hand, alcoholic beverages decreased 0.5 percent in June and Internet services decreased 0.3 percent. 

Chart 1. Prices over the long term
Table 1. EPI expenditure categories and June 2015 weights