Grocery prices have finally started to fall for the first time in months

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There’s a small glimmer of hope for U.S. consumers: grocery prices finally fell in April after being up during the two previous months.

Grocery prices modestly declined 0.2% in April, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI). The index is used as an inflation gauge for consumers and measures changes in prices over time.

According to the agency’s latest data, after months of little change, food prices at home decreased in April. That slight change comes roughly three years after prices soared, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain snarls, and later Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over the past 12 months, however, grocery prices are still up 1.1%, the report found.

During the year-long period, some items that got far cheaper included eggs, which declined by 9%, and ham, which fell by 3.4%. Cheese also got cheaper, falling 3.3%. Notably, the price for apples saw a steep decline of 12.7% during the year-long period. As did citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines, which fell 2.8%.

Meanwhile, food prices for restaurants increased 0.3% during April. Over the 12 month period, prices for food away from home increased by 4.1%. That’s higher than the Federal Reserve’s 3.4% annual rate of inflation. That may be less of a surprise, in part because the sector has been especially vulnerable to the changing demands of inflation-weary consumers, who are being more discerning about what they spend money on.

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