Practical Dad

PracticalDad Price Index:  Food Inflation Accelerating in June

Measuring a grocery basket of 47 items, the June PracticalDad Price Index came in at 103.18, up more than 1% from the May result of 102.08.  This result means that the market basket's price is up more than 3% from November 2010 and is a significant acceleration from the previous months' results.  The average cost of the market basket, calculated from results surveyed at three separate grocery stores, was $184.07 and a $5.68 increase from the original November basket cost of $178.39.

Following is a synopsis of the previous monthly results.

 

PracticalDad Price Index Monthly Results
Month $ Avg Index 3 Month Moving Avg
       
11/2010 178.39 100.00  
12/2010 180.30 101.07  
1/2011 179.51 100.63 100.56
2/2011 179.50 100.63 100.78
3/2011 180.51 101.08 100.78
4/2011 181.91 101.97 101.56
5/2011 182.10 102.08 101.71
6/2011 184.07 103.18 102.38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several notable results from the June survey.

  • For the first time since the survey's inception in November, 2010, the majority of the basket items with price increases had rises in excess of 5% each as about 15% of the basket items had month-to-month rises greater than 5%.  In previous months, most results were due to a few items with significant increases - coffee and canola oil, for instance - while other items had much smaller increases.  This shifted in June however and if it becomes a trend, would indicate that food inflation is shifting from an isolated phenomenon to a mainstream condition.
  • Canola oil - a cooking oil that is also used as a biofuel and thus sensitive to oil prices - increased again by 5.4% to $4.52 for a 48 oz bottle.  This is up from the November cost of $3.12 for the same size bottle, a 45% increase in 8 months.  While the typical family might use another oil, such as corn or vegetable oil, canola oil is prevalent in the baked goods industry.  While the price of flour has been largely static since November, bread/roll costs have risen by almost 10% and this is most likely attributable to the canola oil in its production.
  • Coffee was unchanged for the first time since January.
  • Diapers had a small increase due to stealth inflation as one grocer maintained the same price while decreasing the number of diapers per box.
  • Kitchen trash bags increased significantly after dropping from April to May.  Prices were steady in two of the three stores, but the item cost has swung from one month to another in the third store.  I have gone back and verified that the correct price was surveyed at that particular supermarket each month and these prices were correct.  Even removing that particular item, there was a higher number of items with price increases greater than 5% than in any previous month and that finding holds.

 

PracticalDad Price Index - June 2011
Item Size Category 4/11 Avg Price 5/11 Avg Price 6/11 Avg Price
hot dog rolls (ct) 8 bread 1.18 1.18 1.18
loaf, wht bread, store brand (oz) 20 bread 1.22 1.22 1.22
spaghetti, store brand (oz) 16 bread 1.21 1.21 1.21
child cereal, sugar flakes, store brand (oz) 17 cereal 2.90 2.90 2.90
cereal, rice chex, store brand (oz) 12.8 cereal 2.74 2.74 2.74
oatmeal, one minute, store brand (oz) 42 cereal 3.21 3.21 3.24
milk, 2% (gallon) 1 dairy 3.68 3.68 3.89
butter, unsalted, store brand (lb) 1 dairy 3.49 3.49 3.49
vanilla ice cream, store brand (qt) 1 dairy 1.99 2.01 2.01
grated parmesan cheese, store brand (oz) dairy  3.08  3.08  3.08 
American cheese, deli (lb)  dairy  5.52  5.52  5.52 
peanut butter, store brand (oz)  28  grocery  2.96  2.96  2.96 
grape jelly, store brand (oz)  32  grocery  1.82  1.82  1.92 
kidney beans, dark, store brand (oz)  15.5  grocery  .87  .87  .87 
can green peas, store brand (oz)  15  grocery  .92  .92  .92 
can diced tomatoes, store brand (oz)  14.5  grocery  .94  .94  1.01 
can cut green beans, store brand (oz)  14.5  grocery  .92  .91  .92 
can corn, store brand (oz)  15.25  grocery  .92  .92  .92 
spaghetti sauce, store brand (oz)  26  grocery  1.13  1.13  1.22 
cola, store brand (L)  grocery  .92  .92  .96 
caffeinated coffee, store brand (oz)  13  grocery  3.87  4.15  4.15 
diapers, store brand (ct)  100  hlth/bty  17.82  17.82  18.28 
formula, Enfamil premium, Lipil (oz)  23.4  hlth/bty  22.94  22.94  22.94 
child ibuprofen, OS, store brand (oz)  hlth/bty  4.96  4.96  4.96 
adult ibuprofen, store brand (ct)  100  hlth/bty  6.72  6.72  6.89 
shampoo, Suave (oz)  22.5  hlth/bty  1.71  1.71  1.71 
pads, long/maximum, Poise (ct)  42  hlth/bty  16.09 16.09 16.09 
bath soap, Dial (ct)  hlth/bty  5.39  5.39  5.39 
aluminum foil, store brand (sq ft)  75  hshld  2.97  2.97  2.97 
kitchen trash bags, store brand (ct)  26  hshld  4.11  3.76  4.24 
paper towels, 2 ply, store brand (ct)  hshld  7.69  7.26  7.26 
hot dogs, meat franks, store brand (oz)  16  meat  2.46  2.56  2.56 
ground beef, 80% lean (lb) meat  3.32  3.39  3.39 
eggs, large (doz)  meat  1.69  1.84  1.69 
lunchmeat, deli ham, chopped (lb)  meat  4.06  4.06  4.06 
chicken, roaster (lb)  meat  1.56  1.59  1.59 
fish sticks, Gortons (ct)  44  meat  7.86  7.86  7.86 
tuna, water packed, store brand (oz)  meat  .78  .78  .81 
bananas (lb)  produce  .58  .59  .59 
apples, Red Delicious, bag (lb)  produce  3.76  3.76  3.76 
carrots, bag (lb)  produce  2.39  2.39  2.39 
OJ, non-concentrate, store brand (oz)  64  produce  2.66  2.76  2.76 
potatoes, Russet (lb)  produce  3.99  3.99  3.99 
sugar, store brand (lb)  staple  3.16  3.22  3.22 
flour, store brand (lb)  staple  1.99  1.99  2.09 
canola oil, store brand (oz)  48  staple  4.09  4.29  4.52 
rice, white, long-grain, store brand (lb)  staple  1.67  1.63  1.73 
           
             Total     181.91  182.1 

184.07 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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