Consumer Price Index data shows food prices continue to climb but at slower rate than last year

Personal finance expert with NerdWallet calls increase 'relatively manageable'
Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 16:50:21-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New Consumer Price Index data reveals grocery store and restaurant prices are up from last year, but experts said the good news is prices are rising at a slower rate.

"It's tragic that the prices have gone up so much," Stephanie Goodrum, a West Palm Beach shopper, told WPTV.

South Floridians are feeling the pain at the register.

"A lot of people in our community are not able to pay for their food," Goodrum said.

"It's an end-to-end impact, meaning from the producer's standpoint all the way to the consumer's standpoint," Joel Hibbard, another shopper, said.


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The latest Consumer Price Index data shows food prices — both at and away from home — are up.

Some of the data reveals egg prices rose 3.4% from December to January, which is one of the sharpest one-month increases tracked by the CPI, according to an analysis by NerdWallet.

Baby food and formula saw the biggest annual change in the January report, with prices 8.7% higher than a year ago.

"Food prices are still going up, but they're going up at a much lower rate than they were previously," Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert with NerdWallet, told WPTV.

Palmer said on average, over the last year, overall food prices have gone up just under 3%.

Consumer Price Index food data January 2024

"Which is relatively manageable compared to what we saw the previous year," Palmer said. "So some items, for example, meat and baby food, those prices are still going up at a relatively high rate, but at the same time, we're seeing other basics like eggs, milk, cheese, those are going up at a much lower rate."

Palmer said the best thing shoppers can do right now is be selective about what they're putting in their shopping carts.

"We typically choose generics over name brand," Goodrum said. "We take advantage of the buy one, get one opportunities. We go to different stores for different items."

"Definitely not getting the want and more on the need standpoint," Hibbard said.