The official U.S. inflation rate continued to fall last month, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising just 3% on an annual basis. In June 2022, consumer prices were rising at a 9% rate, the highest in 40 years.
Since then, some prices have retreated. For example, gasoline prices are much lower than they were a year ago.
At the same time, consumers continue to feel pain in a number of areas – notably housing. The CPI’s “shelter index” increased by 0.4% from May to June. The cost of putting a roof over your head has risen 7.8% over the last 12 months.
But there are a few areas where consumers are feeling some relief. In June, the cost of food consumed at home – the category for grocery prices – didn’t rise from May but the cost of food consumed at restaurants rose another 0.4%.
However, even without an increase in grocery prices, consumers are still paying much higher prices for food than they did a year ago. Grocery prices have risen 4.7% in the last 12 months while restaurant menu prices have surged by 7.7%.
At the supermarket, the price of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs decreased 0.4% in June. The price of eggs plunged 7.3% after another big decline in May. Dairy products also saw a 0.3% decline.
The food away from home index rose 0.4 percent in June with most of the increase coming at fast-food restaurants. The increase in menu prices at full-service restaurants rose last month but at a slower pace.