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NBC News

26 days ago
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The latest consumer price index shows prices are increasing, and they're likely to keep going up. Changes at the checkout are also pressuring grocery profit margins because manufacturers have cut back on promotions and coupons to moderate demand since the stock-up period in March last year.

The monthly consumer price index, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed a 0.6 percent increase in March, the largest one-month increase in nearly a decade. Over the past year, prices have increased by 2.6 percent overall.

Gas skyrocketed by 9.1 percent last month. Since February, prices of fruits and vegetables have risen by nearly 2 percent, and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs has risen by 0.4 percent, according to government figures.

Before the pandemic began, the national average for a pound of bacon in January 2020 was $4.72. By last month, the price had soared to $5.11, according to exclusive supermarket point of sale data from NielsenIQ. Ground beef is up to $5.26 a pound, from $5.02. Bread is up to $2.66 a loaf, from $2.44.

The hikes are more acute in certain areas. Boston and Philadelphia are paying nearly a dollar more per pound of bacon, while in Chicago it is up by about 70 cents. Several items spiked by over 5 percent at once in Dallas, including eggs, chicken breast, fresh ground beef, and sandwich bread.
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